Thursday, February 25, 2016

Innocence: Childhood Memories, Song by Avril Lavigne

"This innocence is brilliant, I hope that it will stay
This moment is perfect, Please don't go away.."
~ "Innocence" by Avril Lavigne

The song "Innocence" by Avril Lavigne has always reminded me of the last moments that my daughter Nora was home with me before her father took her away when she was five years old. I was a stay-at-home mom since my children were born, my whole world centered around the care and nurturing of my children. The loss of my children has hit my heart with the impact of a meteor smashing into earth. I grieve the loss of my children everyday, and cherish the memories that I have of them. 

Innocence: Sunlight filtered through brittle branches, casting a kaleidoscope of shadows on the woodland floor. Nora and I liked to explore the local parks, and today we walked side by side through the nature preserve. The wind gently whispered a language I could not decipher but Nora heard. She took off running down the hillside path just as the window plucked straggly brown and gold leaves from a tall tree. I remember how Nora raced through the woods, laughing as the leaves fell on her shoulders. With every step Nora clunked and rattled, her pockets were full of the “treasures” she found – rocks, small branches, a lost button… she was always collecting things.

Innocence: I have saved every drawing and picture, Nora made, from when she was just a small toddler to now, as she is growing into a young teen. How Nora liked to draw, telling stories with pictures even before she could write. I was the same way as a child, a natural writer, who began writing stories with pictures of stick figures and square houses with triangle roofs, the simple drawings could not convey the adventures my mind was dreaming of.

I remember spending hours with Nora, curled up together, with her head resting against my heart, as we read books. There were more books, and notebooks of drawings in her bedroom than toys.

I remember teaching Nora how to write Haiku... patiently teaching her to count out syllables, stringing short sentences into word pictures

My daughter, my joy 
A diamond mined from my heart 
You are a treasure.

No matter how difficult things have been, and how painful it is that my daughter is not with me, I pray that a part of her heart has kept that innocence, the hopes and dreams of childhood. For in the innocence, you will find me, your Mommy standing at the edge of the woods, as the leaves fall, I catch you as you run into my outstretched arms.

Tu Eres Mi Corazon. xoxo

 ~ Daylen Swift, 2016

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Cute Kid Story: Captain America is Constipated!

(Picture Source:

My lil guy J.C. was painting with water colors today, amazed at how a dip of the brush into a cup of water brought colors to life on paper.

 "Mom, what happens when you mix all the colors together?", J.C. asks.

 "I am not sure...let's find out."

 "It makes a masterpiece!", J.C. says. I watched as J.C. swirled the colors into shapes, the shapes formed circles and smiling faces. Stories were forming on the page.
J.C. has grown into a love of reading from his older sister Nora, who takes time to cuddle up to him, and share a story. I read to Nora as a child, and enjoyed snuggling up with her and a good book. Now Nora is writing and illustrating books...taking up a family talent that I have inherited, and my father as a storyteller, and generations going back when slaves were not allowed to go to school or learn to read so they relied on reserves on creativity and inventiveness to craft their talent.

J.C. quickly filled one page and so I gave him another sheet of paper. Only this sheet was curling at the edges and needed to be weighted down. So I grabbed the sturdy, plastic Captain America doll dressed in blue tights with snug red boots, a signature white star painted on his chest, and half a mask covering his face.
J.C. was not content with Captain America being used as just a paper weight... no, he needed some color too! J.C. picked up his brush and stabbed Captain America with green, yellow and red. Soon Captain America was swimming in psychedelic water color, the star on his chest dyed a rainbow.

"Very nice,", I commented as J.C. painted purple facial hair on Captain America, who now donned a purple beard and a smear of a mustache.. or was that a frown?

"He's constipated.", J.C. said, "Captain America is constipated." He jabbed Captain America with the paintbrush again, bathing him in blue and orange.

I giggled. "Constiptated, huh? Ouch!"

"Con-sti-pated.". J.C. said slowly, rolling the words in his mouth, "'Cuz he's being painted!"

"Do you even know what 'constipated' means?" I asked.

"Yea. He's constipated! He's painted!". J.C. said proudly, holding up a soggy Captain America dripping in various shades of color and hue. He smiled big.

That didn't come out well. Then again, I don't think I need to rush to explain to a toddler what it really means... J.C. will just have to be "constipated" until I am ready to tell him. Until then, we can share this little laught over his error.

~ Daylen Swift, Jan. 2016