Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Still connected to my village

After she woke up from her afternoon nap, I felt stupid for being flustered and crying that morning. Before she went down I wrote my mom and dad a hurried email, "any way we could chat for a few minutes this morning? i know your mornings are already early and busy and every thing else, i just want a little ada advice."

Even though I knew it inside, I needed my parents to reaffirm to me that this is normal child behavior. That Ada is okay. That I'm doing fine. That she's growing and developing and we just need to keep on keeping on.

They called and our minutes quickly turned to hours. I had forgotten it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day back in the States, but it was a welcome surprise to have so much time to sit and be with my family. Even if it was through a screen. The Lou didn't seem to mind either. She played peek-a-boo and copied movements she saw my parents doing. We laughed at her silliness and they reassured me about her tantrums. It felt so good.

I needed my parents to help me refocus my energy and perspective. With a few adjustments I saw her as a picture of vibrance and energy, rather than a ball of flailing limbs and tears. I needed my parents to help me see her seemingly violent outbursts as her only means of expressing her frustrations. I had never thought about her feeling trapped in a little body without words and fine movements, but I came to see her then as a smart, precocious baby with more to say than she is able to.

The rest of the day was nearly picture perfect. And I was grateful that I can still be connected to my village even though I'm across a continent, an ocean, and the Tyrrhenian Sea. We never are too far away with technology.

This morning I read a friend's post about her friend's son being diagnosed with brain cancer. I felt a shadow of the unspeakable sorrow that mother must feel. That feeling was accompanied by a pang of guilt for getting so caught up in tantrums that I failed to see how full of life my daughter is. And the guilt was quickly replaced with a swell of gratitude for health and safety and security.

I can't wait for her to wake up from her nap. In Rosie's words, "Every moment feels like sunlight. We can feel it, we can love it, but we cannot bottle it up for later. And no matter how much time we get with our loved ones, it will never be enough. Nothing short of eternity will do."

At the park last week. If only you could see how muddy we were when we got home.

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