Hello, World!

On New Year's Eve, I found a link to the video on Kelly Corrigan's homepage. It was a tough day for me; in addition to the holiday, it was my brother's 30th birthday and my daughter wasn't with us. So you could blame it on that, but I think it was something more. I watched that little video and the tears just came to the surface. Like I needed them to. Sometimes, it's a gift to help someone cry.

I loved Kelly. Watching that video made me want to know more about her, so I read pretty much everything on her site. She talks about her father, a relentlessly positive person who welcomes each day by opening the windows and shouting "Hello, world!" And she talks about its effects on her as a child, feeling like the universe was actively rooting for her.

I thought this sounded like a good thing, so the next morning I had Sarina, I asked her, "What do you think? Should we open the windows and say 'Hello, world'?"

She grinned. "No, Mommy," she said. But I did it anyway. (The back window, if you're wondering. I'm not that brave yet-- I am still the new girl on the block, and I'd rather not have them suspect I'm nuts just yet.)

I told myself that I was going to learn to be more like Kelly's father, to help my daughter see all the good things in life. But then she turned the tables on me.

Suddenly, she wants to tell me how great everything is. We watch a homemade video of "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," and she tells me, "What a great song!" She eats ice cream and proclaims it to be "awesome." I help her with a craft, and she says, "Good job, Mommy! That was perfect!" A grumpy-looking worker in a convenience store surprises me by giving Sarina a banana, and she says, "That was nice of him. What a nice man."

And she looks for ways to brighten my day. Every day, she gives me whatever flowers she finds around the house (an artificial silk arrangement, or ones made of paper or felt) and tells me, "I brought you a present, Mommy. These are for you, from Sarina!" She also tackle-hugs me and says, "It's Mommy Time!"

But tonight was the killer. After a day filled with family and fun, where she made everyone feel a little more special, we drove back to our new home. It's a townhouse in a nice little development. There's still so much to be done. Nothing left that needs to be done, but lots of aesthetic stuff that would make it nicer. The structure is perfect for us, though, and the place has a lot of potential. I can't afford to fix up everything at once, but I've been tackling what I can in order of importance. Some days it feels like I'll never get to it all, and others, I think, "This place is pretty nice even as it is."

As I pulled up, Sarina said, "Wow. What a great house."

"Yeah?" I asked. "You think it's great?"

"What a cool house. I have fun here."

"I'm so happy to hear you say that."

"It's going to be beautiful."

I hoisted her up and out of the car, and she looked for the moon-- Luna. Luna must have been behind clouds, though, because she was nowhere to be found.

"Maybe she's hiding in the snow," Sarina tells me.

"Maybe," I agree.

And we walk into our house, hugging tight against the wind. I think about the new year, and new beginnings, and how much life we both have still to live.

It's going to be beautiful.


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