The road strike is over. As far as we understand, there is an agreement that the road will be fixed on a certain date. The road is open! I’m sitting right now in an internet cafe type of place in our closest town, Bonao. Hubby and I have our big list of “To Do’s” for town, and we’ll see how far we get.
It’s interesting leaving the farm after being there for several days straight. Yesterday the farm was an elongated, expansion time day that continued into this morning before our departure to town. Everything really slowed – and opened. What continues to feel remarkable is the deeper quality of time we’ve shared as a family.
Just taking Michelle to her nap yesterday was a miracle for me, somehow. We were all about to make a trip down to the river, and it became clear that Mich was maxed out – she started doing her “Leche en la cama” baby warrior cry. So Hubby and Sofia went ahead to the river and I took Michelle to bed.
Since she is 25 months old, you can guess that I’ve put her down for a nap quite a few times already. But yesterday was a marvel, maybe because I just allowed myself to experience Michelle going for her nap, instead of – what? – calculating how quickly she might go to sleep so I can hurry to clean some dishes, or take my own nap, or make a call, whatever. Yesterday, I laid next to her and watched her drink her milk. She was SO tired that her face had kind of scrunched up into a shar pei puppy kind of face, she was all squinty, squishy, and wrinkled up from chin to forehead. She solemnly, seriously had at it with the milk, slowly relishing each little suck, which got slower and slower in rhythm with her entry toward sleep. She finished the milk and I gently wedged away the bottle from her vigilant grip, washed it, came back and laid down to pause in wonder at her again.
Her wrinkly, worried, tired little face had transformed. She had been wafted into a deep, restorative sleep and her face had smoothed out into the ripe, rounded puffy baby-ness that she still inhabits. Her poofy mouth was open, with that perfect pink upper lip in its heart shape, lifted out. She is amazing, a miracle. I just laid there and absorbed her into my heart. So quickly, so soon, she grows and changes and shifts. Now I have this heart moment of her sleeping baby-ness to always hold close.
This morning, Sofia crept over to where I was sleeping in the early dawn, and whispered at me, “Mommy..mommy…are you awake now?” Hmmm…Well, no actually, I wasn’t…and frequently this type of awakening would kind of bum me out since I still feel semi-sleep-deprived from giving birth 5 and 2 years ago. But again, something with our rainforest time expansion allowed me to feel the sweetness of Sofia’s eager, excited being and to meet her with happiness instead of something like, “You woke me up:(“.
I whispered back to her, “Hi…I’m awake…good morning..” She said, “Do you want to go with me to try to find a baby bird that maybe might have lost her Mommy, and we can take it and feed it and look I have a piece of corn for it, and we can look in the grass and try to find her and then she can come home and be with us and fly all around the house and I’ll take care of her.”
You know how I am about being in the close vicinity of flying creatures, right? So the last thing I would ever want is a pet bird flapping around our house, but again, I “got it.” She invited me into her world to play. Hubby and Michelle were still asleep, so I said, “Ok…let’s go!..You be the leader, show me where we should look for the baby bird…where would it be hiding?”
We tiptoed outside into the cool, fresh rainforest morning, together, with her one piece of corn for the imaginary baby bird, and I let her lead the way. Sofia is a runner – a gazelle – so mostly the search was really about getting to run outside everywhere as quickly as possible, as far and fast as possible. But that was fine with me, I loped along after her (she could outrun me at age 3), participating in the pretend exploration. We checked trees and plants and long grasses. Then we agreed to leave the piece of corn in a special place in case the baby bird was shy and would want to collect food after we were inside.
She was so happy to have this brief, playful journey with me. There was still plenty of time to go inside, make breakfast, get everyone ready for Rosa, and for Hubby and I to head out to town. When I left, Sofia seemed satisfied with my departure, not clingy. We’d had our time. She knows there is time for us to look for the baby bird again. We’re on rainforest time now.
And how cool to have this time to write to you now. Wishing you so much peace, love, happiness, health, safety and goodness…everyone.