It’s been four days since I left River and I called him for the first time today. He was hesitant to get out of the wading pool to take the call, though he seemed happy enough to hear my voice.
He struggled a bit to transition to Spanish after four days of non-stop English.
“He’s speaking Spanish to mom,” I could hear Mark explain to distant relatives, as they heard the toddler they’d only heard speaking English suddenly change to Spanish.
I asked what he was going to eat for lunch, knowing his grandparents were planning a big clambake.
“Sushi!” he said. He really loves sushi.
There are fourteen kids at this family event and I think five of them are younger than River. Even he was sounding tired from the commotion. But there was a lot to draw his attention. After a little bit of chit-chat, he said bye and returned to his activities.
I do miss him. I think about him, especially when I see small children. I’d like to show him some of the things here. I’d love to hear his happy, high-pitched voice, to feel his arms around my shoulders, to see the calm gently spread across his face as I lay him down to bed. But I’m still so grateful for this time away.
Today I reached the point where I tired myself out. I skipped dinner and returned to my cabin in the woods early. I sit on the porch as the sky darkens, looking out at the forest, hearing nothing but the insects, the breeze, and small objects occasionally falling from the trees. I plan to read a bit and go to sleep early. It’s been an invigorating, stimulating, rewarding time, but I see it’s not only children that can wear one out. It doesn’t matter if you are busy doing things for others for yourself. Everyone still needs a bit of downtime.