Naomi Milliner

Where I’m From

One of the many joys (and perks) of being a mom is, on countless occasions, my sons will say or do or show me something that will inspire me. One such example is a recent poem Jesse brought home from English class entitled “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon. He was assigned to come up with his own version. I decided to do the same. In sharing it with you, my hope is two-fold. First, that it will help you get to know me a little better (perhaps we have something in common!). Two, I hope it will inspire you to write one of your own.

Where I’m From: aka,

The Real Me

I am from the white cake with milk chocolate icing Mom made every year for my birthday; from stick-it-in-the-oven-at-350-for-one-hour instructions written when both she and my dad had jobs; from long-ago meals I took for granted and wish I’d written down because I’ll never taste them again.

I am from a predictable but still highly-anticipated new box of 64 Crayola crayons each Hanukkah, their colors and aroma still vivid in my mind decades later; from a Barbie or other gift lavished on poor, pitiful me when, like clockwork, I came down with bronchitis each year of elementary school. (If you think I enjoyed missing school, know that I woke up each day asking, “Can I go back to school yet? Can I at least go in after lunch? For the last hour?”)

I am from sleepovers, board games, books and my prized Betty Crocker Easy Bake oven. I am from the days when watching “The Wizard of Oz” once a year on TV was a Big Event for the whole family. From a three-bedroom house on a family-friendly street where nothing bad could possibly happen, safe and loved and protected, and sorry for anyone who lived anywhere else.

I am from a father who danced with me to colorful songs like “Song Sung Blue” and “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree”; from a mother who gave me a life-long love of language, taught me the ABC’s, and WAS my own personal ABC – advisor, best friend, and confidante. Always.

I am from a big brother I idolized; from gentle Beth, who always let me be in charge; from StuartandTeddyandLorenzo, each of whom (unbeknownst to me) claimed me as their girlfriend; and from Serge who, alas, never did.

I was from innocence and naivete and high hopes and romance and if you’re a good person nothing bad will happen to you. Ever.

Now I am from a new family, of Lee and Jeremy and Jesse. From sweet and bittersweet. Now I am from, what would Mom and Dad think, or say, or do? From dreams fulfilled, and hopes of things still to come, to accomplish, to experience, to enjoy.

Now I am from: maybe someday; now or never; if only I hadn’t. Now, and forever, I am from my sweet Jake… and butterflies.