It seems to me that trying to live without friends is like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it. - Zora Neal Hurston
The last time I held hands with Daniel, alone, on a vacation was along the sandy shores of St. Lucia during our honeymoon. We were fortunate to travel abundantly prior to marriage. I've missed this feeling. I've missed him. I've missed my thoughts circling amidst new architecture, sounds and scents.
My mind wanders as my heart faintly aches. Brief texts from my mom lessen the sting. The girls are happy and playing and cuddling. I am so grateful for the willingness, eagerness, and ease of leaving them with her and my step-dad. Having no doubt that my wishes for behavior, food, and sleep will be respected. There is such comfort in that.
So here's to our sweet cottage tucked in the hillside. Fat Izzy scowling outside. Succulents and cypress trees, Southern Mexican food eaten with plastic forks, and the glow of old lanterns.
And most importantly, to having hours to watch and remember just how Daniel's brown eyes reflect the sea, the sun, and my glance. How our fingers lace. How we love alone.
There will come a day when my mind blurs most of these childhood weekends together. Sleepy Saturdays will swirl with Sundays and just a lingering warmth will coat this space and time. One day I'll pass a new mother and without thinking or seeing her reality I will utter, "Cherish this time. It will pass so quickly." She will hear the words but the wisdom only time can carves will fall flat. Not until her hair is gray and her skin loose.
But perhaps some record....blog, printed entry, memory of this post will nudge into my swirled aged memory, colors will sharpen and I'll return to this typical morning...
Sitting at the table with Nora. She's poking scrambled eggs with cheese and spooning in oatmeal with flax seeds, brown sugar, a splash of Trader Joes Creamer (with the cow drinking coffee on it that always cracks her up), raisins and walnuts. Her blue sippy cup filled with an unusual pure orange juice because she's coughing and sniffling (again). She asks me how old Soraya is, how old I am, if we will have a party for her sister when she turns one.
After breakfast, she runs to her little table. She begins to lift and inspect each dinosaur figure. Telling me their names. Giving their spiny heads and gaping mouths sweet kisses. She snuggles her raptor and then places him gently into the wooden wagon...racing down the hall with her "little baby"...asking me not to follow.
A few minutes pass...she runs back in and feigning exasperation says, "Whew, my baby raptor is asleep."
A visit to my dear friend, Janette, from Compton High days led me to the wonder of Korean wafers...puffed and light and simple and baby-fabulous. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast with our youngest babes chillin'. We drank coffee from small matching cups and actually held a sustained and complete conversation. Thanks to our mellow littles!
Soraya was enthusiastic about her first meal of baked sweet potato. Reaching and lip-smacking and grinning from ear to ear...but when isn't she happy? Seriously.
The last picture is from yesterday's 6-month check-up. She was naked, cold, and thrilled to be in the world. The nurses and pediatrician crack up at how joyous she is. Gratitude always surges...her temperament makes things easier.
As Nora bucks and writhes lately through each afternoon without a nap, holding mellow Soraya in the ergo against my chest...her big brown lashy orbs wide-open in wonder at the cacophony that spills from her sister, I look down and feel my nerves steady.
...or I yell or drink marshmallow vodka or cry or turn on the tv...or sing Adele at the top of my lungs.
My littles are growing...a bit too fast for my liking. There are days when I bite my lip with anticipation of the mornings when Nora spills paragraphs out over her bowl of oatmeal. When my eyes arch in curiosity at the imagined sound of Soraya's voice as she starts to talk.
Then I lower my brows, soften my lips and drink them in.
Nora, who runs nearly everywhere, small white toothy grin flashing, curls bouncing.
Soraya, whose hands and feet fly up into the air and her body quivers with glee. Still without a nickname.