Friends: February and March were incredibly difficult months for me. The worst since the loss of our first baby.
So this current string of perfect moments and days has come as a complete surprise.
Rafael is one-and-a-half now, and this is funnest I have ever had with him. His character has blossomed, and every morning I wake up excited about the day ahead.
The most wonderful part of life right now is the realization that Rafael loves nature as much as I do. Now that it is warmer, we spend many hours outdoors, and while I snap photos and the dogs sniff and prance around the path, Raffi clamors onto tree stumps, lets little stones sift through his fingers, jabs at bushes with sticks, and asks me what everything is called.
It's incredible how much joy we both get out of discovering caterpillars, bugs, and salamanders. The fact that he crouches close and listens intently when I show him a wild herb or flower makes my heart burst. He now knows and identifies wild ramsons, liverwort, and anemones. When I tell him we are heading into the woods, he asks, "Lungenkraut? Salamander? Baerlauch?" ("Lungwort? Salamander? Ramsons?") And I say "Yes!"
I don't know why his enthusiasm for nature surprises me but it does. Since he is verbally advanced for his age, it's added fun to hear him say the names of wild plants and critters. And then I start imagining what the years ahead will be like....having my little companion with me, pointing out plants and animals. Collecting fallen nests, feathers, berries, heart-shaped stones, acorns and wild edibles.
When Rafael was between 15 and 17 months of age, every day was incredibly exhausting and being a parent just felt like WORK. Now, each day feels like PLAY, and we are having so much fun.
Isn't it amazing how life gives you ups and downs? Gives gifts and takes away? How you can feel like you are drowning one moment, like your life is upside down and you don't even know who you are or where you belong....and you wonder how long this pain and upheaval will last (you feel like it will last forever). And then one day you realize, you are OK again, you can breath again, your feet are planted firmly on the ground and your heart isn't aching anymore.
Spring, and my little boy, are helping me smile.