⪧ We left our life in New York City to make a new one in Provence ⪦

June 19, 2015

Danseuse.



I love a 3-year old's emotional force. Ballerina Colette.









June 14, 2015

Dirt and dust.



Xavier has been gone for a week, traveling for work. A fine time with the little ladies. Parenting a 3 and 1-year old alone can make a weekend feel long. We explored new parks and sort of made a rule that we would eat as few meals at our house as possible (lots of picnics - big fans of cherry tomatoes). I realize when I am alone how smothered I feel by prepping, cooking and cleaning up a meal. Give me endless baths, stories, swings, playground potty crises, pushing a stroller up 50 hills, diapers, everything but cooking. Glad for Xavier's newfound devotion to it. If we ever break up it would be my biggest inadequacy.

Being alone with the girls heightens perception. Children are so miserable and glorious. Every onerous part of the experience is counteracted by an equally blissful force. So sometimes, you end up just neutral, but the undercurrent that gets you there is so wild.

One thing I love about parenting is the physicality of the experience. I've always been affectionate. Pushing it a bit far some might say - licking people, for instance. I love handling little roly-poly bodies - necks right up against my nose. The best smell. Dimpled hands, always grabbing. Hot breath - exhaling laughter. Dirty feet - shoelaces, sandal straps. Four dress changes in a day - with every swap, closeness. So, tonight, when I found myself being licked by my "baby cats", Colette and Romy, I didn't for a minute try to wipe the slaver away.

We get away from that as adults - not licking, specifically, but touching people we don't know well. We have our own outposts - gaps between each other. I love the girls for sweeping me closer. Even when it is dangerous. Romy has taken up biting. When I took away a screwdriver she had discovered and picked her up, she shrieked and turned to my cheek to take a bite today. Animalistic. I sympathize though.

Crazy how it all feels so permanent - set in concrete. The hysterics feel like veritable impasses. Then I go and look at some images I took from 6 months or 2 weeks ago and realize it is ephemeral dust. Blowing away.

June 8, 2015

Sea.



We followed the coastline north on one of these spectacular early summer days. We were chasing after wind gusts free of city air - definitely felt them here. Made us wonder if we should rearrange and live somewhere else.













June 3, 2015



We caught Colette catching up on some important topics the other day.

June 2, 2015

Roar.



Romy is learning her animals noises and barks like a dog and snorts like a pig, etc. She and I were looking at a book of family pictures the other night. There was a close up of Colette and Romy perked up, like I know this one. "Rooaarr!" (like the lion). She got it right.

June 1, 2015

Johnsons.



Over Memorial Day we went to visit my parents and to meet my older sister Julie and her family at their house. A very happy reunion of souls – we hadn’t seen Julie since before she and her family left for South Africa over a year ago. I loved being with Julie again – we shared a bedroom – and a bed – for a long time growing up as little girls. She became one of my earliest emotional harbors. I learned to keep my fears at bay next to her, burrowing into her back in the dark. It was particularly meaningful to be with her when we lost our cousin, Alisa – who was our age, to melanoma that same week. Feeling so tender about that, it felt like salve to be near her and my mom and dad.

I also loved witnessing the fiber of family intertwining there in front of us. We don’t see my parents or many of my siblings often enough, but Colette and Romy arrived and joined their cousins, aunt, uncle and grandparents in a dance it seemed they already knew. We all did. It felt really nourishing to find those old forces I know so well - those that shaped me.

All of the little cousins' personalities took up a lot of space – dynamic forces each one. Colette voiced her intense feelings at some point when Grace told her she would like some space – Colette’s orbit was a bit too strong. She was shocked. The scene ended with her chasing after Grace in circles around the backyard sobbing and crying, “You don’t need space from me, Grace! You don’t need space!”


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