Nia Vardalos’s Blog: Savoring the Last Moments of Summer

09/22/2012 at 03:00 PM ET
Jackie Tucker

Please welcome Nia Vardalos for a one-time celebrity blog!

Best known for her Oscar-nominated role in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the actress celebrated her 19th wedding anniversary with her husband, Cougar Town star Ian Gomez, earlier this month.

Vardalos, currently starring in For a Good Time, Call, has also added author to her resume, with the upcoming April 2013 release of her new book, Instant Mom, in which she chronicles her journey of adopting a daughter in 2008 with only 14 hours notice.

You can find her on Facebook and @NiaVardalos on Twitter.

In an exclusive blog, Vardalos shares how she is savoring the season’s fleeting moments and learning to cherish each sweet memory with her daughter — especially from the front seat of her car.

It’s fall. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I mean, when I last looked up it was June.

Ever since I became a parent, time moves far too quickly. My vision always feels like I’m wearing giant kaleidoscope-goggles.

The past three months of summer meld into one colorful blur like a dropped rocket — popsicle melting on the sidewalk. As images whiz by my eyeballs, I see my daughter squealing down a water slide, now running out of art class covered in glow paint, and then kicking her pink ball across the field at soccer camp.

In the time before I was a mom, my summer days were not like this at all. On a film set, the summer work day is long because the director needs to make use of every bit of that long-lasting sunlight.

Afterward, if we’re away on location, many of the cast and crew usually find a place to eat a late dinner together. It sounds exotic and exciting and yep, it is and I’m grateful for it … but still, I used to sit there and wonder if I would ever be a mother.

In an instant, I became a mom and now my summer days are a steady stream of driving my daughter to playdates, stopping to get swim goggles, getting a text from the hostess to pick up cupcakes and extra ice, then hanging in a backyard addictively munching Goldfish crackers and chatting with other parents as we all watch our kids put on a play about fairies or pretend to be tigers/dogs/monsters maniacally chasing each other across the lawn.

I sit in this comfortable lawn chair and marvel at how quickly my life changed … as peals of kids’ belly laughs echo through the air and the sun sets.

My favorite part of any playdate comes later when I get to carry my exhausted and sleeping daughter to the car.

Is there anything more trusting than a sleeping child completely and utterly leaning into your body?

Like a lot of kids, my daughter can pass out anywhere but as I carry this precious cargo, I walk slowly, so very carefully. Her breath is dewy-soft and gentle against my neck and I try not to jolt her awake as I set her into the booster seat.

But I shouldn’t worry — not even the closing car door can jar her from this blissful state of pure-fun exhaustion.

The girl who was belching a made-up tiger song a few hours ago is now bathed in a holy moonlight that makes any child look like a Norman Rockwellian angel. Her cheeks are flushed, her hair is in moist ringlets and her lips are curled into a smile that surely means she’s dreaming of eating chocolate ice cream in bed.

I should start the car but instead I sit in the driver’s seat, looking back at her. With everything moving so fast now, I have to grab this chance to watch her innocently and beautifully breathing in and out.

The night is completely still.

It’s one of these moments when I realize once again … I am a mom. And nothing will ever be the same.

What a relief.

— Nia Vardalos

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Showing 37 comments

erika on

well, that was beautiful. and refreshing. please, more posts like this one…what a treasure.

Tadeja on

oh how gorgeous!

envyofnone on

brought tears to my eyes! so very beautiful, what a lucky child to have found such a wonderful mom 🙂

JC on

I frequently read these blogs, but have never posted. This entry however left me temporarily speechless. Tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat and a full but aching heart reminding me that the wait will be worth it.

I’ve wanted children literally my whole life, nothing means more to me. I followed your career as well as your struggle to have a family and I find you more inspirational than I can express. The gratitude you clearly have for your daughter is incredible in the most powerful sense. I see so many people forget how lucky and fortunate they are because of the daily stress and struggle of life, which is understandable but no less saddening.

Thank you for inspiring people like me to continue to wait for my time, because it will come.

Sarah S. on

What an inspiring blog! Thank you, Nia.

Guidita from the Shore on

She reminds me of my mom. Little girl has hit the parent lotto. Let it ride angel.

Anonymous on

I wonder if Nia has ever thought about writing a children’s book. Because, quite frankly, this read like something I would read to a child at bedtime. It’s short, sweet, and beautiful, and the sentiment expressed is so profound and something we can all relate to.

Her daughter is one lucky little girl.

Anonymous on


Maria on

Nia, I’ve loved watching your success in life. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is my favorite comedy. I can relate to it a lot. Great blog. I love reading it and I hope you keep blogging.

LoopyYarncrafts on

She is amazing. Adopting a toddler, being humble and open about it, writing from the heart – always. I’d love to read any bedtime book she writes. And would pray she writes one for moms of toddlers!

Anna on

Thank you Nia! As an Instant Mom myself, its wonderful to get those moments and to remember them.

Our daughter blessed our lives 4 years ago next week. We have many little celebrations in our home. We have our “Gotcha Day” when she came home to us. We have her Birthday. We have her “Adoption Birthday” when we legally became the forever family that we are. We celebrate the fact that we chose each other and we chose to be a family together. Our daughter is just amazing and remembering to take the time to remember precious fleeting moments is the key.

Congratulations to your wonderful forever family!

marie on


That was beautiful. I did not take the adoption route but I had the same question and now have a beautiful son. I am so thankful to be a Mother as well.

We are now expecting two girls as well and it is all so special.

You really should think about penning a children’s book.

seila on

it doesn’t say her daughter’s name anywhere…

Summer on

What a joyful, beautiful article. Thank you.

meghan on

seila, Nia and Ian have never publicly disclosed their daughter’s name. 🙂

Missunderstood83 on

They also have never showed any pictures of her face, which I find very sweet. They always chose how much to share about their precious little one. 🙂 Im a huge fan of Nia and have this desire to adopt too when mommy time comes (hopefully i`ll get to have both babies born from my heart and my tummy!).

Jessi on

This made me cry into the piece of leftover birthday cake I’m sneaking some bites of. My daughter is six and somehow time is speeding up instead of slowing down. Even the daily grind of morning rush, dinnertime craziness, and bedtime chaos seems to be going at a faster pace now that she’s in school and away from me most of the day.

Thanks for putting into words what it feels like to pause in a moment and really SEE your child.

Lisa on


Angi on

I’m not crying. It’s just the hot soup I’m eating. Thank you Nia for writing something so beautiful. Many blessings for you and your family.

Cindibear on

Such love for her child. Such a beautiful heartwarming tale of a simple activity like picking up a sweet child from a party. I can’t find the words really but I loved it and i really do hope Ms. Vardalos continues to write this blog. It makes my heart and soul smile.

sunniemonnie on


Guest on

We’ve adopted two little angels and I know we treasure every second of every day. There is something special about becoming a parent after years and years of waiting and trying. Miscarriages, infertility and failed adoptions fade away as you rejoice in the blessing of your children. Congratulations Nia! Being a Mommy rocks!

Carole on

How poetic and beautiful…Nia describes it perfectly. Thank you for such heartfelt words.

Aspasia on

Nia, your feelings are so strong for that kid and I believe strongly, that being a parent is a blesing and a child is your child , adopted or give birth to . You are a wonderful parent and you are lucky as she is to have you. I am so happy for you. I am a fan and a Greek too. ΣΥΝΧΑΡΗΤΗΡΙΑ .

Dee on

That was so very beautiful. (I felt my eyes mist over…)

I wonder if Nia has ever considered becoming a writer?

Liz on

Dee, it says in the intro that she has a book coming out in April…

Heidi Quayle on

I completely understand, as we became parents in short order as well – a miracle to a couple who had waited and lost and – once its ‘real’ you can hardly even imagine its real, and you have to take moments like the one Nia described to just bask in the beauty of a messy, sweaty kid asleep in your backseat.

Emily on

This is a wonderful blog. Nia is so beautiful, too! Her daughter is certainly very lucky.

Me on

Beautiful! Good for you for celebrating parenting while still protecting the privacy of your little girl!

abby on

She seems so authentic! and everything she says is sooo true!

congrats and thank you!

Alysha on

This is a feeling that I experience every single day and always just assume no one could ever understand what I am feeling but you just nailed it. I am an instant parent to 3 beautiful miracles who came to us at 1, 4 and 7 and it seems like every single moment of every single day is so precious and I am so terrified I will miss something that I find myself sneaking back into their rooms at night to just take a peak at them sleeping. Thank you so much for putting my feelings into words.

Debi on

what a beautiful message. I look forward to reading more from Nia. The years our children are so innocent and young are precious moments indeed!

Maria on

This was absolutely gorgeous. I read it as I am getting ready to go to bed very, very late at night before a busy Saturday morning. I am blessed to be a mother of three wonderful children ages 10, 8 and 4, and time seems to go by faster and faster every day.

I try to cherish my children and our time together as much as possible, especially our nights, weekends, vacations and summer breaks because they are only going to be children for a short period of time and then they are going to grow up and have lives of their own. So I want to BE here with them now during this time in their lives and really experience it with them and share it with them, and not always be too busy cleaning or doing something else.

But this blog honestly summed up how I feel about them every day so beautifully, thank you Nia. I look forward to reading your book. My kids and I are big fans of yours, especially of your movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” since my husband is half Greek and I am half Mexican, so our wedding was very similar to the one portrayed in the movie, and my kids think the movie is hilarious!

Happy for you and your husband that you were blessed with a child, and hope that you continue to be blessed. That little girl is so very lucky to have you as her mother!!

lovethisfam on

This was the BEST blog I have read here on the People site. I have struggled with having children for many years and finally came to the realization I wanted to be a parent more than I wanted to be pregnant. We went through our local DFACS office and within days of our approval we were placed with a 2 month old. I know this is RARE and have to believe it was all part of our plan from God. Every moment has been amazing and I appreciate that Nia can relate to the feeling. I will be looking for her new book for sure. I cannot express in words how touching this blog was to my heart.

Linda on

What a beautifully written blog. Nia is a very talented author. And what she wrote is so true; don’t miss a moment! It goes by so quickly. Congrats to Nia for being a great mom!

traxie on

Hmmm, they won’t disclose their daughter’s name or face yet they’ll share very intimate thoughts in a blog about her. I honestly don’t understand why celebrities think we can’t see through their rank hypocrisy. If you want to shield your kids from the public eye, go live incognito and don’t plaster your thoughts all over the internet.

VeryAnnoyed on

Wow, way harsh traxie. You must not be a mother or you’d understand the need to protect your child from the freaks and in this case the paparazzi, or are you a supporter of the celebrities that exploit their children on the covers of the tabloid rags? Or are you sitting there in front of your computer with a Marlboro hanging out of your mouth while your kids stick sharp metal objects in the electrical outlets?

I’m missing the correllation between expressing ones feelings and including a photo-biography in order to be sincere. My “child” has left for college several hundred miles away. Do I need to tell you his name for you to believe how much I miss him? Or how every time I pass his room, I think about the small boy that grew to a man way too fast ….. Do I need to post his picture to sound sincere? Your post reeks of bitterness and resentment!

Moving on …..

To Nia and Ian, congratulations on the wondeful gift you’ve received and continue to cherish all those moments. They do go by way too fast!