i’m taking a deep breath here to acknowledge that no matter how difficult things are for me I am in love with my family.
my daughter is precocious. impulsive. given to extremes of emotion that take her from laughing full belly laughs and warm smiles to sceaming in a red rage headed straight for the wall (to smack into it) and throwing the nearest object to sobbing sadnesses that last only minutes– just until I pick her up again.
“laila do nursing!” she will say. as it is often the 3rd time in an hour she wants to nurse I might say, “Laila would you like a piece of cheese? are you hungry?” to which she will answer: “Laila do nursing, actually. Just nursing, actually.”
and when she was hard to console tonight I said, “Laila, listen. Mama said ‘yes’ but you have to be patient.” to which she said through her sobs, “Ohtay. Okiley-smokiley mama (sob)”.
my son is even keel most of the time. He is in the fray and above it. he sees everything, soaks up everything. he remembers being in the womb. he is obsessed with buttons and how things work. He will watch the workings of a glass elevator (the hydraulics, the wires) instead of putting shekels in the mechanical ride-on toys. He thinks about things very deeply. He dances with abandon and moves through space at all kinds of odd angles and swoops and calls it “break dancing”. He glows, he loves his sister, and he thinks her funny baby sentences are hilarious. and he is starting to gesture a lot with his hands while he talks.
a friend told me recently that her mother always reminds her to hold her baby every chance…you cannot hold them when they are 16. I know its true. i feel it in my bones, and in my muscles which are now shaped (my arms and hips at least) like the converse of Laila’s backside. People are born with a path. Mine has to do with relationships: I am working on them all the time. Children are an incredible reminder that the present moment matters and shapes future moments. And therefore the past is constantly shaping the present which is shaping future moments. Which I guess means that its all happening at once…and every moment I can make it better. So today I have been looking into their eyes more than I usually do (again) so that I can make sure I see them and they know they are seen.
And now for some totally unrelated but interesting pictures. Actually, they came from a drive the 4 of us took to a nearby village called “Ein Qinya”. We had heard there was a stream for walking in and beside. We didn’t find the stream, but we saw these interesting sights:
the mouth of some old structure that was at ground level and now has fields over it. maybe it always did. part of the problem of being a foreigner is I lack cultural reference points that are relevant to understanding what I am seeing. So maybe this is old, maybe its new. I think it is old.
This Israeli/settler guard post overlooks Ein Qinya. I cannot express to you how small Ein Qinya is. The road was 2 way and barely fit our car. As we entered the village it felt deserted. A donkey was running in the road ahead of us. The houses lined the road sparesly…I saw only 2 people It really felt deserted and very impoverished. And yet because the illegal settlement called “Dolev” is nearby there is this anxious military post.
I don’t want to be ethnocentric (unavoidable I guess), culturally insensitive, or rude…but I find all grave markers interesting (even in my own culture). So here are a few views of a small cemetery by the side of the road in Ein Qinya.
(this one just references a verse from the Quran)
And a farm.
The view of outskirts of Ramallah from Ein Qinya
Later that afternoon we went swimming….yes, swimming…I know I have only posted photos of desert, olive trees, the dry and thorny wadi, and herds of dusty goats but just to highlight the stark contrasts that exist here, this is also Ramallah:
And Laila had her first swim here in Ramallah at a place called, “SnowBar”