Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ahh Jamaica... Feel Alright.

I am desperately trying to hold on to my Jamaica-state-of-mind. And the return to NYC has been a challenge. Our week in Montego Bay was beautiful - Lily digs the island life. She spent every day exploring gardens, the beach, and the pool. Chasing birds, collecting rocks, backing up to steps to perch on, climbing up and down, up and down, up up and then down down every stair, digging in sand and taking dips in the pool and ocean. Drunk with limitless energy.

She loves the sound of blenders.

She has inherited my flare for what Alan referred to as my interpretive dance and moved with delight to the pianist every evening at the bar. Between songs and sips of water she handed off her purse to every man she could find and then, on cue, returned to the dance floor.

She collected flowers and mini unripe avocados and followed the gardener each morning.

She enjoyed rinsing the sand off her feet at the garden hose and now quite enjoys a gushing faucet.

She napped as though she had never slept before.

How she has grown in just one week. This morning I peeked out of the kitchen to check in on her and there she was, standing and smiling on the couch. She is very near climbing out of her crib and I'm not sure how to handle all of this. Confinement does not agree with Lily and last week was utter bliss for her.

I felt good to be in the warm sun and to take her swimming for the first time. See her warm up to the gentle lapping waves that spilled over her toes. There were so many families there and she made a point of meeting the other kids. It was hard seeing dads with them, I couldn't help but imagine Alan with Lily in his arms gliding across the surface of the pool or taking her on a walk down intriguing garden paths - they would have relished together in the environment. But it feels good to say that we did just fine on our own, though we saw him in the moon and the stars and heard him in the bird calls and the crickets' evening songs. My mother was with us - so together, the three of us played and explored, indulging in energetic days, and soporific balmy evenings. Lily was known to all the staff (as though they went back years together) and I was known as Lily's mom and her Jiji was known as Lily's grandmother. I didn't mind being nameless, she's my connector and conduit to my newly changed world - she is the best of travelling companions.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Earth Girl.

Sometimes I really long for California. For Lily especially. If she had been born there, she would have been fourth generation on my side - and I want so much for her to experience living in such a beautiful and peaceful place, it is in her genes, her geographical DNA. Though her ancestors come from abroad she has good old-American stock and when I watch her in motion, she is indeed a pioneer. She is an intrepid explorer, and when she's on the march, she forges on, with little turning back. She chases birds, has noticed her shadow, enjoys dirt and sticks, ditches and sand. How I wish I could take her to play amid the redwoods, smell the damp earth, hear the quiet babble of creeks hidden by ferns and greenery, feel the soft moss, rub her cheeks on the furry bark of ancient trees. I'd like to take her cardboard sliding on the tall brown grass that blankets the rolling hills and let her feel the crisp air in places like Tahoe, dip her toes in it's cool water, let her lug a giant pinecone around.

It amazes me that our girl can fall asleep on warm evenings, windows open, even if a car alarm is going off or people are yelling in the street. But I'd much prefer her world to have more music and less noise - for her to fall asleep to fog-horns or barking seals. I remember watching Sesame Street when I was little and the stoop was so cool - I had never seen anything like the buildings in its neighborhood. Only the trash can I recognized. Now when I watch it with Lily perched in my lap, transfixed, hands resting softly on my legs, I see her world. The one in which she is now very much a part. Her landscape is very different than the one I knew as a child - how I'd love her to experience both worlds. Her dad was a Brooklyn boy, and I grew up in Northern Ca. suburb - and Lily is very much a city kid. But I know she'd also flourish in a more outdoorsy place, where she could thrive in another way.

This weekend we are off to Jamaica and I'm looking forward to letting Lily play with clean, pure sand, in fresh fresh air. Perhaps all I/we need is a brief respite from the Big Apple but I am excited for her to be somewhere lush and easygoing, where the vibes are gentler and pace, slower. She is already a Marley fan so I think we're well on our way.