Broken bones and bibbidi bobbidi boo

We went to the emergency room two Saturdays ago. Kip broke his radius falling from his dad’s back while wrestling. He now tells everyone: “I fehwll off Daddy’s back in the hotehwl and bwoke my wist and I have to wear dis bwace. It hurt a wot, but I’m feeling pwetty good now.” He never cries like he did just after it happened, holding his arm limp in his other arm. He gets knocked around a lot by his big brother, and cries. But never like that. We knew immediately and left for the ER, where Kip decisively pointed to his pain level on the chart three times in two hours and, when we left, he was a smiley face. Hours later, he jumped from bed to bed in his grandparents’ hotel room, so excited to see them. Ever intrepid, three-year-old boys.


They gave us silly bands and stickers when we arrived at the emergency room. Kip promptly adorned himself to his liking. (See: Kip’s notably tired mommy)

We were visiting for my niece’s baptism, a long-awaited family reunion in a city none of us call home, and seeing her after so many weeks was joy beyond joy. I haven’t written about my sister’s wondrously wonderful little baby girl yet because there are no words for how I feel about her presence in the world. Every time I try to write about her, everything sounds ridiculous; nothing lives up to how grandly I feel about her, how magnificent she truly is. I write, and I start getting teary-eyed, unable to articulate my feelings for this delightful package of peace, wisdom, sincerity, snuggliness, feminine power and ever-new joy.

Snuggling my sweet niece on the day of her baptism

Snuggling my sweet niece on the day of her baptism

It so happens that, in that weekend of broken wrists and giddy bed jumping, I became my niece’s godmother. My sister and bro-in-law even gave me a t-shirt that says “bibbidi bobbidi boo.” And I wear it. I wear it to yoga. I wear it in the house. I wear it just to look in the mirror and say to my reflection: “You have arrived, dear one. You are a godmother. Woot woot.” Little-known fact: Godmother is one of my select few dream jobs. It is an immense honor to be officially tapped to love my niece as God loves her—unconditionally; without fear, judgment or expectations; and with great joy. I have the sanctioned opportunity to support my goddaughter in her own journey no matter its twists and turns. And I have the chance to make sure she knows she is loved and supported by God and the Universe. I ineloquently wrote her a letter for the day of her baptism and, in it, I shared my first bit of godmotherly wisdom:  God is love, love is God, you are love and you are loved.

I wonder if my sons know this. I wonder if my friends know this. I wonder if, at all moments of the day, I know this.

After such a big day, Kip slept through dinner in his dad's arms.

After such a big day, Kip slept through dinner in his dad’s arms.

In any event, we got a chance to show Kip how much he was loved that weekend, too. A broken bone broke the pattern of Charlie: loud, Kip: quiet, at least for a day. And the poignant conversations between him and Brian, of apology, forgiveness and adoration, were some of the sweetest I’ve ever overheard. The snuggles, the love, the close quarters, the eye contact of the weekend were all such a gift. And so was the tricked-out dessert platter the hotel sent to our room with condolences for the broken wrist.

It’s hard to pinpoint the strange magic of that weekend, when Kip broke his wrist and I became godmother to a phenomenal baby girl, but magical it was.

Is this alien glowing more than yours is? Don't tell the Father, but this little guy took a dip in the holy water, courtesy of Charlie and Kip, during the baptism. (Brian did a valiant job of containing both the boys and his frustration with their charades while I stood beside my goddaugther and her parents.)

Is this alien glowing more than yours is? Don’t tell the Father, but this little guy took a dip in the holy water, courtesy of Charlie and Kip, during the baptism. (Brian did a valiant job of containing both the boys and his frustration with their charades while I stood beside my goddaugther and her parents.)

Lastly, a sidebar shout out to the art of occasional poetry:

Because words fail me when it comes to writing about my niece, and because I think art is one of God’s highest forms of expression on earth, and because love like this makes you need poetry, I commissioned the poet, cin salach, to write a poem for my beautiful goddaughter on the occasion of her baptism. In the end, cin’s poem made me cry giant tears of appreciation for all that my sister’s daughter is. Cin captured my feelings and wishes for her beautifully, and she left my goddaughter with her very first piece of original art, for which, at age three months, she herself was the muse. It felt like the perfect way to honor my dear, impeccable goddaughter in her first of many rites of passage.

If you have a special someone you’d like to immortalize in poetry, may I suggest you visit

Aside: cin is the dearest of friends, so I know the beauty of her heart and the soulfulness of her process, but I also must vouch for the fact that she is an artist of inspirational proportions. If you need more than my word to vouch for her, she’s won a bunch of awards, has book deals, is largely responsible for popularizing slam poetry, is an Emmy nominee and she gets recognized by fans every time I’m out with her—people literally stop her in the street to talk about her poetry. I’ve never seen anything like it. So if you want to give someone a beautiful gift, if you’re an art collector or want to be, cin’s poetry is the real deal. Check her out!

8 thoughts on “Broken bones and bibbidi bobbidi boo

  1. Beautiful Emily! Please include me as part of a huge community of love for your whole family!

    We had a similar – fun Dad – experience with Dan when he was 18 months old. He and Christy were rough housing with Mark on the family room floor. Dan rolled off Mark’s back one too many times when he cried out in pain. We rushed to the emergency room hospital and left with our “wounded soldier” wearing a bent leg cast. It made us all want to cry and Mark felt terrible but Dan learned how to walk and run with it, and it slowed him down very little for the next six weeks.

  2. Thank you so much for writing, Kathy! I love hearing the stories of your kids as kids and all grown up. You offer such a wonderful perspective for me in this season of life. And, truly, I bet Dan was not deterred by that cast for very long at all! Ha ha. Sending love to you guys.

  3. Thank you for sharing the information about cin and poemgrown. What a wonderful idea! I know I will connect with her sometime in the future.

  4. We also had a “airplane gone wrong” (from Dad) land 2 year old Julia in the ER to get her head glued. Evidence of a life well lived, but no fun at the time. I love that dad and son bonded over the injury, so sweet.

  5. Pingback: I make the shift from fear and scarcity to piles of wealth and one sick garage | emily en route

  6. Thanks Emily for sharing your story and congratulations for being a loving Godmother. I have related experience when I was young but not with my Dad. I was with my friend climbing up a mango tree. We both slipped from a branch and fall about 15 feet high. I landed with a broken leg. And my friend landed with his hand broke. Fortunately, we managed to go back home and get a quack doctor to treat us. Talk about traditional methods of healing! We got our broken parts wrapped with some sort of leaves.

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