One. We just came back from a trip to Miami to attend a friend’s wedding. While Waleed is always a giddy kid, on the plane? He’s so excited he can barely contain himself. Literally. He’s a squirmy, tongue-wagging puppy determined to befriend every single person on the plane. And while this alternative is preferable to a screeching hysterical baby in a contained space- a baby who becomes as squirmy as a wet guppy fish did leave me mildly exhausted. Still I’m fortunate he’s a good traveler and strolled happily through my brother’s Coconut Grove neighborhood [where we just, you know, casually, like its no big deal had brunch at the table next to Queen Latifah!!! who Waleed was also determined to befriend until he caught sight of his rarely revealed toes and proceeded to have his own unique brunch] Most trips with Waleed make me thrilled to quickly get back home, but this time- though its definitely more work traveling with a baby, it felt like we might slowly be getting the hang of it.
|random lovely wall art while wandering CocoGrove|
Two. I grew up in South Florida and spent most of my childhood weekends with my family at the beach. Once I could drive, I went myself finding a spot under a shade tree [hey I’m desi] and enjoying a solitary lunch as I watched the waves. The beach is a place for me to think, to people watch, to daydream, to center myself- sitting on a sandy shore watching the waves crash fills me with a particular sort of peace I can never fully replicate anywhere else. So naturally I couldn’t wait to take my son to the beach. To watch him take his first tender steps into the sand, to dip his feet in the salty sea.
Except- he hated it.
Like, any attempt to get him near the sand [which wasn’t hot] made him scream so loud and with such fury that people stared at us like we were dangling a koala bear upside down in heart-shaped boxers to a crowd of appreciative alligators. Which we so weren’t.
Still, it was nice to be at the beach, to see him wear his bucket hat, play with his aunt, and to know now while he’s too young to realize that South Beach is apparently cool with nude sunbathing and opt for more child-friendly beaches next time we visit.
|The calm before the ‘feet touched sand’|
Three. Unlike some people lucky enough to have family in the same city as them, its the three of us most of the time. Being with family reminds me that as much as he’s my son, he’s a nephew and a grandchild and so dearly and deeply loved. The wedding was ninety minutes north so we spent the night there and one of my brothers came up also to spend maximum time with us and to babysit Waleed once bedtime approached so we could enjoy the wedding. I wonder what it must be like to have family in town who you can lean on like this all the time. Still, so grateful we have this at all regardless of how many hours away it may be. I am so blessed that he is so loved- and I hope and pray he will grow up knowing the unconditional love of his extended family because I’m well aware that is something not everyone has and a gift you just can’t take for granted.
|Mamu and Waleed|