It’s official: my eight-month old has her act together way more than I.
I realized this on our flight to Africa – the world’s second longest commercial flight (really?! Who takes a baby on that?). In the midst of my restless leg syndrome meltdown, I noticed that my baby was the calm, cool, business class flier I was not. I am thoroughly economy grade. While I complained to my much taller, bigger and justifiably more uncomfortable husband that sociopaths must have designed the seating layout, our daughter was the picture of confidence and poise. When I rolled my eyes at the “nervous flier” behind us who screamed during turbulence (and maybe even said “Snakes!” under my breath just to stir the pot, Julia offered a glance of sympathy.
Seeing that I am now a full six months into understanding the art of parenting, let me bestow my words of wisdom to all of you:
Baby Little has changed my concept of time. In just four and a half months Little has transformed from an itty-bitty bundle of newborn into a strong, plump, cherry cheeked full baby. Already her tiny rosebud mouth has grown into a bigger constant smile. The precious little joke face she made as an infant has given way to a newly found belly laugh. The epic stretches she did throughout her first weeks are no longer necessary to make her comfortable. As she’s moved on from certain newborn-isms, she’s discovered ways to move her body and show off with he-man style ab crunches and impressive locked-knee standing. She’s learned to “talk”, forgotten about it while she focused on sitting up, and come back to it recently with new and improved sounds. Each day Little learns something new, does something different and grabs each minute by the horn. She is the poster baby for living in the present.
Oh, the joys of feet! The mystery of words! The allure of solid food! Julia London, aka Little, is in a world of wonder. Little appreciates the, well, little things in life just as Hallmark movies and cross stitch pillows instruct. Little needs not Smartphone nor interweb when she has her own fingers to admire. In contrast to the snarky-funny pessimism so prevalent around us (and often perpetrated by us), Little lives pure happiness.
Our trip to Canada was not all mountain wilderness. We were lucky enough to see two great Canadian cities as well, Vancouver and Victoria. After living amongst the pines for several months, they were the perfect injection of skyscrapers and pedestrians to satisfy our human interaction quota. Vancouver offered stunning scenery and pop-up-restaurant cool along with a disturbing number of junkies making us wonder where the line between British Columbia and Narcos Colombia was. Victoria was an absolute gem, plain and simple. This smaller island city fully delighted and left us scouring real estate listings.
Our impromptu spring break trip to Canada took us straight into the romance of the Great White North. Banff National Park was a peek inside a snow globe that left us truly impressed.
Even for a directionally challenged loon like me there was something off about driving east to reach the great Rocky Mountains; considered Out West when growing up in Michigan. We drove through never-ending plains of white, past train tracks and tunnels that should have been part of a children’s play set and mountain peaks that looked like Kindergarten renditions of triangle mountains (mad-jestic in JD’s words).
Strangely, I was reminded of Namibia here. They are alike in their opposite extremes. There was the same quiet and same sense of smallness that comes from being the only humans for miles. Although exhilarating, there was also the feeling that we shouldn’t be there, as if we were trespassing on Mother Earth’s hallowed ground. The land was both too sacred and too brutal for us to cruise though in our temperature-controlled car.
I’m home. Sort of. I’m back to being able to recite the pledge of allegiance, drive on the right side of the road and converse fluently. I’m back in the US of blessed A. And I’m happy. I’m proud this is my country. Perhaps I even feel a bit freer and braver than before. Certainly, the bravery is needed right about now. Read More…