Category Archives: #TMLFYI…

TMLFYI… | Nas

Jessi Masi and Ganesh Masard got married. It was your first wedding. And outside of the bride, I really must say, you stole the show.

Your mom positioned you well for all that show theft for what it’s worth. For every event, you had a tailor made outfit. You wore it with grace and style. Even when you put different parts of your clothing in your mouth, you did so with elegance.

Here are some artistic glam shots from the wedding itself. Mostly because you were sleeping and I couldn’t get a great all-in photo of you to start (it’s hard to magically crop out all of the different belts that strap you in the Cybex Aton.) But also because your Eku Foi started taking the top down photos of you through your bow so I think we’re going to keep that theme flowing. From there, I thought jewelry shots would be lovely. And wouldn’t you know it? They are.

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I was able to get a shot of it all coming together, with you in your mom’s arms and a hell of a backdrop that only you two could outshine.

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But in the end, my favorite pose was you doing your Nas … “if you ruled the world” (imagine that?) Yes, this is how I think you’re going to look the moment you realize the world is all yours.

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Sofie in hand. Not a care in the world. It’s your move, world.

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TMLFYI… | Galavanting

Here I am, proofing our home so you stay safe and what are you doing? Galavanting. On theWest Coast. With your Mom. With your Nitu Masi. And with your two hysterically entertaining brothers, AJ and Alon.

At the Ritz.

You have had a very full and busy day. I know. Because while I was at the Honda dealership, Home Depot, Target, Babies R Us, and Pier 1 imports (I momentarily debated swapping coffee tables but couldn’t find the right inspiration), I was checking text messages with your photos attached.

And I loved every second of it.

So what were you up to? Hmm, let’s see.

You started by waking up at about 3am PT. You don’t know what PT means. Let me explain. It means Mommy is exhausted right now.

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After hanging out with Mommy in the lobby for a bit, while she pounded coffee and you smiled like everything was normal and ok, she proceeded to try and get you to nap on some reasonable schedule. Nope. Not happening. You went from hanging out in the crib to a straight up jailbreak.

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Since you wouldn’t nap in your crib, you napped on the way to prison. The jailbreak comment above was only a primer for letting you know that you went to Alcatraz when you were 8 months old and your Mom was crazy to have taken you.

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The best part of Alcatraz? Apparently, it was your decision to leave. Probably because you were absolutely unimpressed by the moment or the space.

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Which explains why this is how happy you were on the way out.

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Now, shopping brings out a different you. More thoughtful. More pensive. You were down for going, for sure, but IMHO, it was really more of a wait and see for you.

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Good thing. Because apparently, nothing can make you ready for bed more than shopping. Which makes sense, because you are your mother’s daughter.

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And there you have it…galavanting. Eh, I guess you two earned it. Now, back to covering those outlets.

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My $.02 | When Nothing Makes Sense

RU

Not everything makes sense. September 11th does not make sense. I will never be able to make it make sense. Hopefully, that isn’t the case for many things in your life. I want to have answers. But sometimes, I simply won’t. And that hurts.

You have a Neil Kaka. You had another. He was one of my best friends. For me, he is what doesn’t make sense about September 11th.

There are moments in time that one remembers vividly. This will happen to you. Elated moments. Ecstatic moments. Completely new moments. And tragic moments. The elated, ecstatic, and new moments move too quickly. It’s life on Fast Forward. But the tragic moments, that’s when the world slows down. That’s when seconds feel like minutes, and minutes feel like hours. You process just as much. But you process things in between moments of numb. And so even though I remember September 11th as vividly as any other day in my life, it still doesn’t make any sense.

I remember hearing the planes hit the tower. I remember seeing debris after the second collision. I remember watching clouds of debris race from the West side of the island to the East (where I was) enveloping and swallowing everyone and everything along the way. I remember connecting with everyone and believing in my heart-of-hearts that everyone I knew was ok. And then I remember making the walk to midtown and trying to make sense of it all. I couldn’t.

The rest is a history that remains present always. Everyone wasn’t ok. Your Neil Kaka wasn’t ok. He went into work early. Nothing was ok.

When you grow older, we’ll talk about this. Like my parents talk about the partition. Or like India’s state of emergency in the mid-70’s. We’ll talk about this. And I’ll be devastated every time I tell you about it. Every new bit of information I share. Wanting to balance your innocence with your right to knowledge. And I’ll be devastated because for all I am supposed to do for you in this world, it will never be more apparent that there are some things I can never protect you from. Nonsense. Hate. Anger. Irrationality. Civic irresponsibility. The loss of innocence.

All of the things that don’t and won’t make sense. But don’t and never disappear.

So I’ll tell you this story. I’ll tell it to you honestly. With my arms around you. Most likely with tears in my eyes. So you feel the power of the moment but not the weight of the experience. We’ll talk about what happens after. How when someone leaves it’s your responsibility to figure out what part of them stays. With you. Forever. And maybe on that day you’ll carry Daddy’s tradition of carrying Neil Kaka’s tradition of always giving to the homeless along with you. You’ll see that every time Daddy sees a homeless person the street he reaches into his pocket for some change to pass back. And you’ll realize that Daddy’s just a conduit for Neil Kaka.

Just like you have the power to be a conduit for all of the people you love. Always and forever. Because — just because when nothing makes sense, you do your best to make sense of something. However little. So the world gets back to being a little right again.

I’ll tell you this story one day, munchkin. And if nothing else, I’m guessing Daddy will make a little more sense to you after we’re done.

Kaka

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TMLFYI… | On the Move

I enjoy our weekends. On most weekend days I get to wake up with you in the morning, give your Mom the opportunity to sleep in a little, and get some dedicated time alone with you. Any time alone with you is a win for me.

We do a little bit of talking. We do a little bit of exercising. We do a little bit of playing. We do a little bit of going outside. (Note: You love dogs. When I walk you around either in Jersey City or Edison, we’re bound to see dogs walking their owners early in the morning, and you reach for them, play with them, completely unfazed, and completely engrossed.) We do a little bit of a lot. And I love every second.

This past Saturday morning you were obsessed with a video of you on Daddy’s phone. So I had a good time balancing getting you some exercise with basically, having you chase yourself in Selfie mode. You were a monster. And it’s all documented.

I love your energy. I love your conviction. I love your resilience. This is everything we’ve known about you from the day you were born, encapsulated in a single video. It’s more than your pursuit of something, it’s your happiness and commitment to that pursuit throughout. Unwavering.

I am willing to wager that over time, we’ll see more and more efforts like this from you. And it’s our job to make sure you maintain that energy to pursue, and find a way to remain happy while you do.

Challenge accepted, my love. Challenge accepted.

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TMLFYI… | Sleepless

World, if you’re reading this, I’ve got a question? How jealous are you of me in this picture?

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Let’s talk about origin, Anaiya.

Maybe it’s because your teething. Maybe it’s because we woke you up early. Maybe it’s because we pushed you past your normal limits on the sleep front. But on Saturday afternoon, at your brother Hukam’s first birthday party, you were not going to be put to bed the normal way.

Your mom is much more gracious about all of this. She’s got an amazing calm with you. You can read older posts if you’re curious. But we all know that the fact that she’s home and with you is the reason you are the amazing child that you are.

I’m different. I get anxious. I hear you squeal and I want to fix something. I see you squirm and I get anxious when whoever’s holding you doesn’t accommodate. I’m sure I do a better job than not of masking my instinctive reaction. I’m also sure your mom has the same impulses. But this isn’t about her. Look at that picture. I’m fine with saying it. This post? Totally about me.

See, I’m a Dad. What I don’t have in the way of biological connections to you I compensate for in as many ways as possible.

So on Saturday afternoon, when I spent an hour trying to put you to down for your afternoon nap, you and I knew three things quickly:

  • You were exhausted
  • You weren’t going to make it easy on us (we deserved it)
  • I wasn’t going to give up (it’s my job, and I won’t, ever, on you)

I fed you. I massaged you. I burped you. We read Where the Wild Things Are on my phone. We listened to lullabies. We listened to Billy Joel (I have no idea why you were so into Allentown this weekend, by the way.) I tried to let you cry it out. I sat up and held you. I tried laying you down and patting you in the crib. Everything.

An hour. A whole hour. And every time you would get close to sleeping, in my arms, I’d lean over to put you into your crib and you’d grab a hold of my shirt for dear life. The greatest feeling ever, mind you (and my first memory of a baby is a similar one, of your Sohum Kaka.)

But we found a happy place. On the floor. On my back. You on my chest. Any attempts to alter this position resulted in you simply not having it. So we slept there. With a birthday party going on around us, and with neither one of us wanting to be anywhere else. At some point soon, that’s going to change for you. Just know, it never will for me.

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TMLFYI… | Fitful

I feel like we have to share this video with the world because everyone thinks you’re always happy. They don’t realize that you are capable of getting angry. For about 5-10 minutes every day. When we feed you solids, but don’t move at the speed of light in doing so.

It’s adorable now. It’s especially adorable because you do it for everything. Oatmeal? Sure. Carrots? Yup. Peas? Mmmhmmm. Squash? You betcha.

What’s going to happen when we get you stuff that actually tastes good?

But your Mom is also concerned with sharing this video, at least a little, because your reaction makes it seem like we never feed you. Ever. Like this meal was the first time you’ve eaten in 7.5 months. So before I share the video I have to make a Public Service Announcement and let the world know that you are, actually, quite well fed. (Your legs serve as evidence.)

So today my love for you is fitful. Just like your love for food. Amen.

 

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TMLFYI… | Intuitive

People are jealous. Our friends with kids are jealous. And I’m not ashamed to say it whatsoever. Everyone with a kid is jealous of us because of you.

Because you tear every time you poop.

That’s right. You don’t cry. You don’t get uncomfortable. You just get really quiet. And your eyes well up with tears. It’s like an old cartoon watching your eyes actually fill with water. And then a single tear rolls finds its way past your lower lid and we know that the pooping is complete.

Other parents have to guess. Sometimes there’s even a finger wipe required. Not with our baby.

When your Mom and I see it, we know instantly what’s next. To everyone else, it looks like we’re the most intuitive parents in the world. But in the end, it’s just you, making us look good, all over again.

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And we’ll take it.

That’s us. About you.

Intuitive.

Note: Only a diaper and my nostrils were harmed during this photo shoot. You, as evidenced by this picture, remained happy as ever the whole way through your change.

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TMLFYI… | Joy

Pure. Joy. ‘Nuff said, munchkin.

Anaiya Joy

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TMLFYI… | Dogged

Dogged is a word I don’t use nearly enough. To describe me. To describe the people I’m with or around. To describe anyone. I haven’t formally reserved the word for very committed uses but I think the nature of the word itself makes it so.

I can say that I’ve been socialized to say something like “dogged pursuit”, treating the word dogged more as the kickoff to a compound word. What and where have I seen dogged? Embodied? No place better than this.

Maybe one better place. Maybe one more powerful place. Maybe one place I need to tell you about now, and will take so much time to tell you about in the future. You are dogged. In your pursuit of everything. And I love it. It’s inspiring. And it’s a reminder.

Your great grandmother, your Ba, was similar. A week ago we celebrated what would have been her 100th birthday (albeit a little early, but that’s not the point.) You have a connection to your Ba. In so many ways it’s uncanny. In my head I still think you have a third middle name — Bhanu, or “Ba + Nu” or, “of Ba.” It’s my own play on words.

You see, your Ba was an extraordinary spirit. She lived a fuller life through age 40 than most live ever. So when she, tragically, lost her ability to walk in the latter quarter of her life, she embraced her challenge and role in life with grace. At least that’s what I saw, as a grandson. And I allow myself a little bit of time to reflect on her experience as an adult but stop myself at the risk of going down a near infinite number of rabbit holes that would call so many things into question.

What I remember, with strength and conviction, is how she lived for most of the time I knew her. How she fought her way to subsist. When people watch this video, they’ll be hopeful and optimistic and even congratulatory about what your future holds. When you’re able to move your hands in front of you. When you’re able to get traction and crawl. When your push ups lead you to stand up, and not just to a standstill. Just about everyone who looks at this video is going to smile wide at your effort. That’s the benefit of youth, my love.

When I look at this video, know that my mind will live in two very different places. I’ll always find happiness in your every effort. Every effort. I promise you. But there’s a strong part of me that will watch this video and think of your Ba. And how she faced similar challenges often without hope. A more painful way to live. On the other side of the bell curve. Where knowledge isn’t about seeking what is next and pushing your body forward, but where knowledge is a painful reflection of what was and what could have been.

And where, like your Ba, with all of that history, pain, and legacy hung around your shoulders, having broken your legs and shattered your ability to even walk — you still fight, and crawl, and scramble, and make do.

Today, my love, you were dogged. In you, I saw a reflection of your Ba. There are few greater compliments you will receive.

Today my love for you is dogged. In honor and appreciation.

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TMLFYI… | Tito

Tita Fai

Hi Foi,

Tito. Tito. Tito. It’s said more like “teeeeeee, toeeeeee” than like “Jackson” which makes it so much more fun for kids to say. It makes sense, doesn’t it? That you would have such a fun name to say. Because kids love to say your name so much and so often. I know my older sister, Raina Ben, does. I’m still finding my words, but I expect to be able to say it soon too. And my guess is that it’s going to be one of my favorite words when I do.

Happy Birthday Tito Foi. You and I formed a bond very early. I remember when you took two weeks off of work when I was born to stay in the house and stay at home with me and Mommy when Daddy had to go back to work. It’s those little things you do that I’ll always remember.

I love that you sing to me. Music is one of my favorite things. You know that because on your first birthday with me, you took me to music class. I had to get my sense of music from someone, and everyone knows that Daddy is tone deaf. (I love him anyway.)

More than anything, I love to see you happy. Mommy and Daddy always talk about your heart. How it can sometimes get hurt. How it can sometimes feel pain. But how it always overflows. You have so much love to give, and that excites the heck out of me. Mostly because I know I’m going to be spoiled.

Totally ok with that, by the way.

Today’s your birthday, but I feel like it’s mine. Because you took the day off to spend it with me. Because you took me to music class while my Mommy gets a much needed vacation in Mexico. Because you soothe me when you sing, both when you’re here and when I listen to your CD. (Remember when we sang together at Ba’s party earlier this week? Let’s do more of that.)

So Happy Birthday, my lovely Tito Foi. I can’t wait to grow up with you by my side. And I hope I grow up with a heart that’s half as big as yours. If I do, I think I’ll end up a pretty good person. Maybe that’s your gift to me? Or maybe our gift to each other is knowing that winter, spring, summer or fall, all we’ll have to do is call…

Love you,

Munchkin

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