Raising Cinderella :Our Expat Girl

flower-headingThis is the longest I have ever gone without writing since this blog began. The time swept by in one fell sweep, carrying me seamlessly from one year into the next. Yet tangling me in too many projects to keep up with them all. The sudden rush of chaos had nothing to do with chasing promises of goals and aspirations in the new year. In fact, it had little to do with any of that. It just so happens that we are in a time of movement, propelling forward with each breath. It also happens to be January.

December was a big one for me, a month for the records in my newfound writing career. This blog and the affiliated Facebook page quite suddenly catapulted in popularity, keeping me swamped in maintenance and reciprocation. My cup was full, but apparently not full enough. In the same swirl of energy, I earned a raise at my current freelance writing job and with it a challenger to write infinitely more. This meant triple my previous pay and pressure to write 20 full length articles at a whopping 3,000 words a piece.

I was grateful for January and for the relief that it promised. And all in good time, I woke up one morning last week to discover that my toddler had blossomed into a girl overnight. She rose all aglow full of passion for make up and hair bows, tea parties and dollies. She also started writing and reading and pleading for instructions in her art. Clearly she is passing through a milestone, and for this she needed me desperately and incessantly. I wouldn’t miss these moments for anything, and I willingly discarded all distractions of heaven and earth, to be immersed in her world.


Yesterday, I let her entrance me with nothing more than her sheer presence. She draped herself in pearls and a floaty white dress and began to prance through house in the late afternoon glow. Together, we melted into the moment, like the dreams of all little girls. I lay on my back against the humid tile floors and gazed up at her, as she twirled about, tapping tapping her feet to a rhythm all her own. Never before had I seen such grace as I noted a whimsical child with no hint of the infant I once knew. She lifted herself into the air, revealing to me, the most perfect dirty black feet. A hint of the true tale, of a wild little girl lost in the bliss of a magical dance.

I admired her long, lean limbs and youthful, glowing cheeks as she twirled with her eyes closed, hair tangling mid-air.And I thought to myself, how much longer will this last? How much longer will she stay mine? How many more times will she promise me to never grow up? How many more minutes until she turns five this year? In my mind, I painted her picture, to be ingrained in my memory for all time; as I watched her dance into this next phase of her life.

And just like that, she dropped to the floor, in a puddle full of giggles, reaching for my hand.We stayed that way for a very long couple of minutes, fingers twisted together, laughing for no apparent reason. And then we padded off and out of the room, to the balcony, in seek of fresh, salty air. We admired the scene together and I reminisced on our last almost-year here. We are a long, long way from home, from the place she came to when she entered this life, from the time that she began this family that is now mine.

From here I will watch her blossom into the angel that she is, inevitably tall and bronzed and blonde. Destined to stand out in this land of tiny, curvy Latinas. And I will remember this now and forever, to stop and slow down a bit. To be careful not to miss the puzzles that make up her milestones. To acknowledge that a week of missed writing is so worth all of this.



30 Replies to “Raising Cinderella :Our Expat Girl”

  1. It’s such an interesting place to be in life. My son just turned 3 and I can clearly see the person he’s becoming. He’s no longer a baby and I really have to stop and soak in the moments with him. Enjoy your daughter and all the precious moments you can get!

  2. We are not parents (yet) but really lovely to see how you describe all full in love about your little princess! Enjoy every second, every moment – I am sure this is the highest luck in life to have ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Motherhood… Parental love… I don’t have a child but you were able to convey to me of how it is to be mother… Love. Love. Love… Regards to little Cinderella…

  4. Gorgeous post, thoroughly enjoyed reading. It’s a different angle to the travel life and I loved it. I’m 23 with no kids but what you’ve written perfectly encapsulates what I want it to be like when we eventually do start a family.

    1. I’m starting to know what that means… I can’t believe how fast it is going. Can’t seem to make sense of how on earth it is possible that she will be 5 this year! Seems like she just came home yesterday. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Can I just start off with WOW. You are truly a wonderful writer and apparently a very busy one. I have never read writing so well done, so enchanting as yours. I’m really not trying to be over flattering but you are an artist. I have taken many writing classes and have read many books, but never has my heart been so captivated as when I read what you write. What I have found is many authors can start off so well, creating a world that envelops me, to somehow lose me. It is, needless to say, a let down. Don’t ever stop writing and if you write a book let me know. Ok I will stop with the flattery, I’m sure you have heard enough.

    I am, somewhat, a new mom of a 15 month old beautiful baby girl. I too find myself often consumed with those same thoughts and appreciations. What a wonderful opportunity we have been given to be a part of and enjoy their lives.

    Your writing is inspiring. I hope I can someday yield my brush and key strokes with the same mastery you do. Ok maybe just a little more flattery. From one artist to another, thank you for sharing.

    1. Really, thank you so much for your beautiful compliments. To know I have impacted someone so strongly is a huge achievement and I am truly grateful for your sentiments. It is the best encouragement I can receive to continue sharing the my work. I feel I have finally found my calling, after many years of searching. I, too, have dabbled in nearly all things art relates. For many years I could not understand where the missing connection was. Keep doing what inspires you, and I’m sure that one day you will see….possibly in a moment you are giving to your child, the obvious route for your artistic aspirations will suddenly be clear. I am quite sure, that becoming a mother was the direct path to my becoming a writer ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Thank you. I have been writing stories since I was in grade school. I am hoping to finally endeavor to work on my writings and get published. I did some research and found that a blog is a good place to start, so here I am. I didn’t know what to expect from a blog but i am very pleasantly surprised to find so many wonderful writers on here.

    My writings can be anything from poetry, little kids stories, to young adult (and sometimes just silly sarcasm). I know your busy, but if you’re ever interested you should go to my blog. I have one children’s story so far. It really needs the art work, something I need to work on. I plan on putting up more writings later. Anyways I hope you have a wonderful day in your great adventure.

    ooh by the way I am going to show your writings to my mother in law. She loves reading, probably has literally read thousands of books. She is going to love your writings.

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