Category Archives: The Kids – My Loves

Never a dull moment! :-)


We’ve just picked up Salihi from his soccer practice when the following started:

Nana: Salihi does your coach have a son?

Salihi: Yes

Nana: then where is he? because I never see him with his dad then…

Me: why do you want to see him? do you want to marry him? ūüôā

Nana: What? NOOOOOOOO!!

Me: tell me so I can go tell him right now that Nana want to marry his son ūüôā


Me: Ok Nana, no yelling …. so you don’t want to marry at all?

Nana: no

Me: why? why not?

Nana: Because

Me: because what?

Nana: because I only love my family like that

Me: like what?

Nana: it’s complicated besides I don’t want to make or sign any contract

Me: hum! sign a contract? what are you talking about?

Nana: you know, marriage is a whole contract between 2 people.

Me: a contract? what does the contract say?

Nana: that they would love each other for ever and a whole lot of other things that I just don’t want to sign up for

Me: like what? what are some of the other things?

Nana: well lots of things. I figure I just have to adopt and I won’t have to do all the things and contract of marriage.

(At this point my mind is blown! and I’m thinking I’m in trouble!! my little girl is forming some idea of marriage that doesn’t sound so appealing!! I want her to become a strong and independent lady…. but I want her to also see the value of the marriage-unit that forms the family! – I’m in trouble!)

Salihi: Now little girl, just how do you know about all of that?

Nana: I read and observe and I know what I want

Salihi: no you don’t. You think you do, but you don’t

Nana: Yes I do, I know I’ll have to adopt a kid if I don’t want to sign a contract with anyone! so you see I know!

Me: so why don’t you want to sign a contract? even with somebody you love?

Nana: I only love you, daddy, Salihi, and my big family like that.

Me: how about you Salihi, will you get married?

Salihi: I think so. only if I really really like someone, yes I will get married.

Me: will you have kids?

Salihi: Well, on that one I don’t know. I don’t think I can get that responsible for a long time

Me: how responsible?

Salihi: responsible to take care of a kid. I don’t think I will be that responsible for a long time. – And Nana, if you ever get drunk you can also have a baby without adopting one or getting married

(at this point, I’m thinking: where did that came from? hum?!?!)

Nana: how? how do you get a baby when you get drunk?

Salihi: well people do stupid thing when they are drunk

Nana: like?…. oh Salihi you are making me think about how babies are made! and Ewww!¬†I don’t want that! that’s why I said I will adopt. No thank you I’m not getting drunk! disgusting!

Me: Salihi where do you get the drunk idea thing from?

Salihi: from book and talks and shows.

Note to self: this conversation sooo needs to be continued!!!-more importantly needs to get Nana’s conception or views on marriage.¬†am I projecting something that she doesn’t want for herself? it’s a bit of contradiction here especially coming from her; considering that she actually sat me and the dad up one day to tell us that she never want to hear us talk about the D-word because as she put it “when parents divorce it is the kids that pay the price, it’s the kids that are miserable between houses & step-parents¬†& new brothers & sisters…” (was a shock but we found out that 2 of her friends were going thru parents divorces and the kids were talking). So I would expect her to be the one to¬†want a child with a daddy & mommy….. not what I’m learning tonight!

On a positive note: none of them is getting drunk anytime soon and my son already gets it that having kids is a huge responsibility……..:-) – Never a dull moment with these 2.

The Talk – Part-I (1)


I must say that it was a long time coming.

it has been brewing for months now. A bit more precisely towards the end of last school year after the week of the lesson on “family planning”.

on our way home from school, Salihi blurred out: mommy do you known what an erection is and what happened to a penis when you have one?

Me: that’s a conversation to have in private.

to which Nana jumped in: b’cos I am here?

Salihi: yes; and you must be a 4th grader too

To which Nana replied after a moment of silence: well, I’ll just have to google it!

Thanks technology! (note to self: really tighten the parental-control’s words search on her laptop!)

And that was the end of that conversation.

Fast forward to several weeks later in 2nd week of August, Salihi came back from school one evening at the moment of kissing us goodnight, made sure Nana wasn’t around and hesitantly uttered:

 I have something to ask you two-

We: yes.

salihi: do you guys have sex?

Dead silence…. then

We: why? why do you asked?

Salihi: b’cos my friends at school were talking and one of them said all parents have sex and I said not my parents and my friend said that if I was born naturally,  not adopted or otherwise, then yes my parents do have sex. So I would like to know if that is true.

Dead silence again……… then saved by Nana arrival.

…. (To be cont’d).

I miss you


Dear Salihi & Nana,

I miss you very much already. you haven’t even reach San Diego yet and I miss already.

I miss your good-night mommy hugs that trail and linger¬† just so you can keep watching my ‘grown-up’ TV programs, or your goodnight hugs that turn into ‘mommy I have a question¬†or an idea, or something to tell you….’ an excuse just to lie next to me on the coach. – I know I haven’t told you just how precious those moments are to me. Since I’m a hug-bear, seeing you come up w/excuses just to prolong cuddling time with me make me feel really lucky! – Yes lucky to have such affectionate kids!!! Please stay this way! Never cease¬†to be affectionate. ūüôā

I even miss our little tag of war to get you to take your shower, pick up your room and get ready for bed! Ironic how, in those moments I say ‘can wait for your guys to grow up enough for me not to have to be¬†on your back to get ready for the night’ – and now I miss that tonight! Funny how we wish a situation away…. just to want it back when we realize that that situation has become part of us.

I hope you have lots of fun w/your Tata K and your cousins – as this will be my only compensation for missing you so much for the days ahead!!!!!

I have a lot more to tell you…. but I’m too tired right now.

Be safe and have fun!!!!!!!

Love yous.

Salihi’s Lancelot


I got the pleasure of being asked by my little (?) I guess with being almost my height, I better start calling him my young gentleman to read some chapters of a book he has been writing for the past several months.

A fiction of¬†a hero (him of course) with magical powers to fight monsters and bad leaders to protect the people and keep them safe. Beyond my surprise at just how much details he put in his writing or the sheer number of pages he has writing so far,¬†I got a glimpse of how he sees himself. – A powerful protector who remains humble to the people he protects, loyal to his friends, a commander-in-chief¬†who can come up with plans and tactics as changes in situation demand, a swift punisher, …etc.¬†The only character trait that gave me a pause, was his eagerness or needs¬†to be¬†seen, noticed, and appreciated and yet, his character would walk into scenes quietly, purposely avoiding to be¬†noticed until the appropriate moment. This contradiction really gave me a pause and food for thoughts.

Naturally as a mother, I wonder¬†if I am lacking in the amount of attention I give him. From my own experience¬†I learned that the curse of being the one to always give care and attention to others is that when you need it the most, others fail to see it and¬†return it most of the time. Personally, I do not blame them, I’ve learned that when you only give, you not only¬†turn your surrounding into receivers/takers¬†but¬†also rob¬†them off the opportunity to give back. Consequently they lose that ability around YOU.¬†¬†My dear Salihi has a huge heart that worries me (a subject of another discussion). He cares enormously¬†about others. He still lets little sis Nana get away with murder. Come to think about, I can’t remember the last time I did anything with just Salihi w/o dear lil¬†sister wiggling her way in. And boy, she is great at this. – one example tonight is when Salihi handed me his computer to read the story, and sat next to me on the coach, few minutes later Nana came in and the only place she wanted to sit¬†was between me and Salihi.¬† He pointed out to her that there was no space between us and offer for her to sit either on his other side or on my other side. She ignore his offer and stood there, so Salihi & I just continue w/our reading…. and the next thing we realize that she was sitting nicely nested between us. yep, that’s my Nana – expert at wiggling in her way! As usual Salihi gave in and move to my other side to continue the reading.

From reading his book, I wonder how many time have I let Nana or my busy schedule, or his own giving and caring heart rob him off my attention? His desire to be seen, noticed and appreciated is a bit of a wake up for me to really give my attention to him.

Or  I am just over-analyzing??

Parenting? or Parenting!


Where and when do you do most of your parenting?

I seem to do most of mine in the car on the road going somewhere. One example is this afternoon on our way back from volleyball, Nana decided that she will sit in the front. Salihi at first said it was ok with him…. then few minutes later he said : you know, Nana, the bosses seat at the back!” “No not always” she replied. Salihi backed his point by pointing it out to her that the president never sit in the front, nor drive the car himself, he is driven around sitting comfortably at the back. To which Nana replied “well, I am very comfortable here in the front”. But Salihi won’t light up, giving more examples to back his opinion up. I guess Nana had enough so she replied “it is my choice and I am very happy with it!” – Great job!!! I said and I would like for both you and Salihi not to ever forget that. AS LONG AS YOU ARE NOT HURTING ANYONE,  IF YOUR CHOICES MAKE YOU HAPPY, STICK TO THEM  NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE SAY, INCLUDING ME!! Make choices that will make YOU happy!!!
We seems to be always on the road talking about a situation they have experienced, observed, heard about or thinking about, to create these opportunities for me to pass a lesson or advice I would like them to live their lives by. Where and when do you pass your parental advices to your offsprings? and I would love some crucial ones that you wish to give yours as well.

Salihi’s Who runs the World :-) & Re-incarnation (?)


Friday 12/16/11 – Last day of school before the winter/holidays break. I’ve just picked up the kids from school and we are in the car on our way home. Out of nowhere Salihi starts the following conversation:

S: Nana did you why it is girls who run the world? (& this Beyonce’s song was not even playing on the car radio or anywhere in the car)

N: no

S: it is because it’s the girls who give birth to babies. So b’cos of them, it is like this big family who never runs out. So without girls we won’t have people to make the world, that’s why it is ‘girls’ who run the world.


Then He proceeded to add the following as well:

S: Nana, you know what, whenever a baby is being born, God takes the spirit of  someone who is dead to put it into the new baby.

N: So if I come back as a new baby, will my name still be Nana Cisse?

S: No Nana, when you come back as a new baby, you don’t remember anything about your old life. you¬† will forget everything when you die before you come back.

N: No I won’t

S: Yes you will when you die first before  coming back as a new baby.

N: (to me) mommy is that true? will I forget my name and everything?

To which I answered by asking Salihi: Where do you get that idea from?

S: from my head

Me: How? did someone told you about that?

S: No mommy! I just think that God just put the spirit of people who die into making the new babies who are born!!

N: So Salihi, if I die, will I come back as a brown baby again?

S: No Nana a brown person can come back as a white baby or yellow baby and a white person can come back as a brown baby. it doesn’t matter what color they are.

N: Me I want to come back as Nana Cisse again¬† with long hair like now and I’m not going to forget anything.

S: Yes you will (and a little game of¬† ‘no I won’t’¬† ‘yes you will’ started on from there).

What stunned me during this exchange between them is the high confidence Salihi showed while speaking РHe was so sure of what he was saying and yet had no idea that there was a label-word for what he was talking about.


Nana’s bday party hard-choices.


My dear Nana is learning this morning the hard-choice of the heart & the limit of the means! ūüôā :-)!!!

Our family rule is that we make big parties only to celebrate the “0” & “5” birthdays. For example, for her last year 5th birthday, she got to invite all she wanted; and at the peak of the party, there were a total of 78 people in our house (46 of which were kids-¬†her friends and their siblings). This year, for the 6th bday, she is allowed only 6 friends (# of guests = to the age she’s turning).

This morning, it was bitter-sweet watching her choose the 6 that she can invite!!! At first, there were 4 consistent names and she was struggling with only the 2 remaining spots. Then as she remembered more friends, the consistent became 3 (and I have to say
that I was very shocked by who she dropped here! I said, Nana, really? And she replied, “yes, she (the dropped) will forgive me” – the lesson*).

The first complete list was made up of only girls. One particular girl that I thought would make the list wasn’t on it and when I pointed it to her:

She replied: “I really
wanted her to come, but I can’t invite her w/o inviting ..him.. it will hurt his feelings and I really really wanted them both here.”

I replied, why don’t you invite them both then?

She replied “that means that I have to drop 2 friends”. So 2 friends were dropped and replaced by the her & him.

Now that a him¬†make it onto the list, she said: “mommy, I have to invite … (her 2nd him).”

I asked why?

She replied: I can’t invite … (him#1) without inviting …(him#2)!”

I asked why? again.

She replied “just b’cos”.

Me: b’cos?????

She: “b’cos I just can’t invite one w/o the other!” – FYI these 2 hims are not related, have
never met, and do not know of each other. (There is a long story about this
part Рwould have to be for another posting!:-)!). So one more dropped and the 2hims and a her make it to the list.

Then she remembered another friend and after starring at the list for a long time and said: “mommy THIS IS

I replied-¬†Nana, you just have to invite your friends that are the closest to your heart, the friends that you love or really really really like”

She replied: “I really really love more than 6 friends” (notice the choice of words here!).

After going back & forth like this we finally came to the 6 to be invited.

After the list was done, I asked her, why did you kick off … (the 1 of the initial¬†4-consistents¬†that was dropped) the list?

She replied: “first of all mommy, kick off is a harsh word! I wanted to, but just couldn’t invite her; plus I know that she loves me enough to understand and she will forgive me”

Waooo! was all I could uttered

*The lesson for me on this part is that: eventhough we are not supposed to take those we love the most for granted, it seems like WE DO just that. I guess the assurance behind it is that we act relying in advance upon the forgiveness that generates from the
certainty of their love for us. We come to actually rely on that “granted” feeling (as their love is granted to us) to expect them to
understand and forgive us certain actions we would not have taken had we not have the assurance that we won’t lose them or that they won’t stop loving us.¬†¬†

The positive side(?): I guess the next time someone takes you for granted, take comfort in knowing that you have done a
great job in assuring them of your love for them! :-).