Small Talk

Going South: Epiphany

March 11th, 2013

South Carolina’s greatest gift to me was the reminder of how precious time is, and how I should be savoring it every day with my child.


Our daily bedtime ritual includes summing up our day’s most and least favorite moments. In a cuddly bed in Charleston, she told me her best thing was that I played with her today. Her junkest thing was “No Kira.”

Kira is her best friend, the neighbor for whom she pines away for, the little girl who plays nicely with her for hours and hours on a lazy Saturday or Sunday. She wants every day to be Kira Day.

We got a lot of family time on this trip. Ten days of togetherness, carried into the bedroom. If it’s a queen bed, Olivia sleeps with me, because she won’t sleep alone in new places. If it’s a king bed, we all get to pile in.

I play with her every day. We play word games, chasing games, finding games, and when Mommy is tired, cell phone app games. Her daddy or I hold her hand and point out things to her a lot.

Treasure hunting

Treasure hunting

I love that I’m still everything to her. I love that her daily highlight is my attention. I love that her treasures from this trip are clam shells we collected from a beach at Hilton Head, and a shiny rock from Atlanta. I love that a chocolate milk can make all the difference between a good meal and just a so-so one.

This is such a sweet and precious age. I tend to forget, to get wrapped up in the daily druge of life and the grinding responsibility it brings with it, which for my situation is generally a breathless rotation between domestic chores, parenting obligations, and a full time career.

Here in South Carolina, I remember. I remember in a raw and deep way what I love so much about mommyhood, a truth that arrives at me with such a force I tear up just a little bit and hold my now-sleeping daughter tightly to me. I nuzzle her soft hair with my face and resolve to remember more.

5 Responses to “Going South: Epiphany”

  1. Ken Conklin:

    Thank you so much Diane. That was an astonishingly beautiful expression of deep and delicate feelings. I was especially touched, as I know you were, by Olivia's honest, heartfelt statement that the best thing about her day was that you played with her. I've heard it said that heaven is feeling the radiant presence of God, and that the greatest punishment in hell is to be denied that presence. You are God to Olivia. (And of course Claus knows you as his Goddess!)

  2. zzzzzz:

    Any thought to letting Olivia send Kira a postcard?

  3. Diane Ako:

    Ken Conkin- What a nice comment, thank you!
    zzzzzz - We completely didn't think about it! Yes, it would have been a good idea. We instead brought back a little souvenier. Kira later said she wanted to vacation where we were, because Olivia made it sound so good. Cute!

  4. kamaaina808:

    Glad you enjoyed my 'homeland' - and thank you for sharing your tender moments. I remember my days as a child there, and the moments spent with my parents are still with me - good & bad. We did vacation with close friends a couple of times when I was small; you should look into it with Kira's parents, even if it's a local stay-cation. Those memories will last her (and Kira) a lifetime.

    Scrap books are a lot of fun to do after a summer vacation. We used to do one after summer was over & we went back to school. Our teachers made sure we remembered those fun times and helped us turn those memories into a nice lesson.

  5. kuunakanaka:

    aloha Diane:

    i don't take 4 granted the time i have w/ my daughters, ages 8 and 4. sure they r on a different schedule much slower than mine, but i remind myself 2 slow down and enjoy time exploring our world from their perspective. it's definitely better 2 realize what is important and urgent now than when they r much older.

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