Sienna & the Moon Remind Me How Lucky I Am

Her utter excitement and bewilderment swept through me like nothing I’d ever experienced, for as much as I’d like to say I’m seeing things anew this might have been the first time where I truly felt the power of watching the world through my daughter’s eyes. It was a crescent moon, the type of moon that in the immortal words of Cookie Monster, “looks like a cookie, but you can’t eat [it].” In my arms Sienna stared at the sky, eyes wide, mouth agape. She pointed.

“MOON!!!!!”

Her rush of joy filled me. Sienna had been saying “moon” for some time now because she has a toy that lights up and spreads a starry sky across her bedroom ceiling. Elaine and I spent time in her darkened room save for the electric stars and crescent moon teaching her words. This was the first time I could remember her seeing the celestial body and calling its name.

The moon disappeared behind some fast-moving clouds. “Where’d it go?” Sienna asked, arms outstretched, palms up, questioning. I assured her it was still there. We waited until it reappeared.

“MOON!!!!!”

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I felt so lucky to have witnessed something so wonderful, a parent watching a child’s recognition of Earth’s natural satellite, an occurrence that’s been going on since the beginning of human existence. In that moment I felt no fear. The heaviness of failure that I’d applied to myself because I am a stay-at-home dad was further than the moon from Earth. It was so special that it made me realize how quickly Sienna’s language skills are developing. How because I’m a stay-at-home dad I’m fortunate enough to enjoy childhood leaps and bounds that generations of men could never experience. I feel like I can see Sienna’s mind and personality flourish, the gears turning behind her eyes. I’m head over heels for my daughter, even if I need a break from her quite a bit.

My one regret is that Elaine wasn’t there to share the moment with me; my family was incomplete. Because she’s currently the breadwinner, she does miss out on certain things, and I know she’s devastated by that. But she’s an incredible mom and when she’s home with Sienna the love between them is palpable. When she’s home Sienna runs to her, so excited to see Mommy.

I never thought I’d have a girlfriend, let alone a wife and a daughter. My brain still fights me when it comes to having it all. My view of success remains warped. I still feel like I’m depriving Sienna by not taking her to a different museum or park or class every day, but I do feel enriched when we’re home together singing the old “Batman” theme while she pumps her arms up and down, Batman in one hand, Joker in the other.

It’s been thought forever that the moon has special powers. I’ve never believed that, but last night proved me wrong.

“MOON!!!!!”

My body’s still shivering with child-like wonder.

 

9 thoughts on “Sienna & the Moon Remind Me How Lucky I Am

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    M

    November 11, 2013 at 5:26pm

    One of my favorite singers is Sade. Here are the lyrics to a sweet song that she wrote for her little girl Ila. It came to mind as soon as I read your beautiful blog. Check it out on YouTube, the music is so pure and lovely. Hope you like it. :)

    “The Sweetest Gift”

    Quietly while you were asleep
    The moon and I were talking
    I asked that she’d always keep you protected

    She promised you her light
    That you so gracefully carry
    You bring your light and shine like morning

    And then the wind pulls the clouds across the moon
    Your light fills the darkest room
    And I can see the miracle
    That keeps us from falling

    She promised all the sweetest gifts
    That only the heavens could bestow
    You bring your light and shine like morning

    And as you so gracefully give
    Her light as long as you live
    I’ll always remember this moment

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lorne Jaffe

      November 16, 2013 at 11:12am

      Very sweet lyrics! Thanks for sharing, M!

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Caren

    November 14, 2013 at 1:40pm

    Great entry.

    And I am annoyed because I have used the cookie metaphor for a crescent moon, and I didn’t realize Cookie Monster says it! Drat.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lorne Jaffe

      November 16, 2013 at 11:14am

      Thanks!! Luckily we don’t have to pay Cookie Monster each time we say it’s a “cookie moon” 😉

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    neal

    November 14, 2013 at 2:37pm

    Very cool. These moments are what it’s all about. My family just moved into the mountains from the concrete of Southern California, and one night I brought my daughter outside to look at the stars when she was having trouble sleeping. She took one look at the sky and gasped, “there are so MANY!”

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lorne Jaffe

      November 16, 2013 at 11:15am

      Thanks Neal! It really was the first moment where I felt it. I’ve been amazed a few times, but it was like a new clarity!

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Evelyn

    January 29, 2014 at 12:02pm

    Had some time to read a few of your entries today and I did really enjoy them. This one brought back a phenomenal memory for me. My son with autism didn’t utter a word until he was five. His two first words were “cookie” and “moon.” Every time he looked at the night sky and said “moon” I would rejoice and feel a small sense of victory that finally his silence was broken. And “cookie” was the first item he ever requested. Perhaps something in his brain saw a relationship between these two items, I’ll never know, but reading this brought me back to a great memory today so thank you!

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Lorne Jaffe

      January 29, 2014 at 5:01pm

      Thanks so much, Evelyn! I’m glad that particular post was able to bring back such great memories for you. You reminding me of it brought my own memory rushing back! A friend of mine has an autistic child. I can’t imagine what it’s like, but from what I’ve seen, there are so many victories and surprises that can happen. I wish you and you, your family and your son all my best!

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