Mary Beth's turn

At nine years old, where I'm from:

I am from reams of paper, Little House books, Hanna Andersson to match Katie, and ballet slippers.

I am from the big, brick house that smells like lavender and ginger. I am from warm colors on the walls, a flowered canopy hanging above my bed, and balls in the house even though they’re “not allowed.”

I am from the tulips, the basil, the parsley, the flat backyard with soccer goals.

I am from singing Christmas carols to awaken Mommy and Daddy on Christmas morning and cooking Italian meals. I am from Lisettes and Elizabeths and Michaels and Patricks.

I am from kids who play soccer before they can walk and who love to draw. I’m from tickle jail and butterfly kisses. I’m from sister handshakes and “matching-so cool!”

I’m from “Be ladylike” and from “Have fun.”

I am from being Catholic, bedtime prayers, Tomie de Paola, everybody’s icons, front door crucifixes, holy water fonts, feast days and family rosaries. I’m from a devotion to the Little Flower and John Paul the Great.

I'm from Fairfax, Virginia and Italy and Norway and Scotland and Poland, from basil and garlic and bringing Daddy breakfast-in-bed.

I am from crying when Nicky was a boy and getting roses when Katie was a girl and dancing with Michael in that itchy dress at Jimmy's and Michele’s wedding.

I am from Mommy’s camera and blogging. I’m from the hope chest filled with baptism candles, a ribbon bouquet from Mommy’s wedding rehearsal, broken boards from Tae Kwon Do, old pictures of Mommy wearing a wig to cover her baldness, pictures of babies that all look so much alike it’s hard to know who is who.

I am from playing dolls with my sister, listening to pots and pans being cleaned while I fall asleep, reading chapter books until I can’t keep my eyes open, school baskets, nature study, the Montessori shelves, and watching Katie and Gracie grow.

I am from home.