a lot to say

campsite, originally uploaded by Kristy and Eva.

we spent four weeks in alaska, and so much happened it feels like an entire season must have passed (the change in weather and light propped up that illusion). i try to encapsulate the experience, to store it here for later -- both for me and for eva, and to share it with others, and i get stuck. so, rather than wait for that clarity of mind that may never come (or will come too late), i'll not postpone other entries any longer. who says life has to be processed chronologically?

eva has not been sleeping well the week we've been home -- blame her molars, or the jetlag, or her sudden tireless interest in singing (having become, of late, the troubadour of her own experience). in fact she stopped sleeping well the last half of the alaska trip, once larry left for london (though he is not the one responsible for getting her to sleep, aparently his presence in the next room is a catalyst for sleep?). this is wearing on me, layered on top of the predictable malaise that sets in after returning home from any long trip. the result is a drained and periodically cranky mama, who unnecessarily snaps at her husband and is less sensitive than she usually is to her overtired toddler.

i'm doing my best, which is more than i would have done in the past -- the hardest truth of being a mom is that you can't crumple and stare at nothing for an hour, even if you really want to. you sometimes can't even cry for 15 seconds. ("what's wrong mama? mama, are you okay?" she peers at me quizically. "it oooh-kay, mama. it okay." she says, patting my back and kissing my head. so touching, to see the care i offer her reflected back to me, but i'd rather she not feel the need to comfort me in the first place.)

so, she has rights to be cranky given her teething and lack of sleep, given her fogged-in mama. yet, in true eva spirit, instead she sings. she sings songs she knows. she repeats songs she hears larry sing four words of while fixing her a snack. she makes up songs to sing sotto voce to violet and bunny (songs whose exact meaning cannot be descerned by outsiders). she sings to narrate her activities or thoughts -- the aforementioned troubadour. i will restrain myself from flooding you with examples (as the experience of toddler song loses nearly all meaning when translated to text) but here are two from this evening:

hearing larry sing a line of the johnny cash song, eva sung back without missing a beat, "papa sang bass, eva sang tennis..." the word "tenor" is unfamiliar, so she made her best interpretation. i like it.

an hour or so later, as she stood playing with some carved wooden animals (a gift from sarah karen and john today), she was remembering the elephant maggie we saw in the alaska zoo. there's controversy surrounding whether she should stay there since maggie is in questionable health and all alone, and elephants are social animals. anyway, processing what i shared with her about the situation (yet again), she turned it into a melody of her own creation. "maggie is a lil' bit saaad, she feel lone-leee. a lil' bit lonely 'cause she not have friends there. maybeee, the people help maggie feel better." i'd like to report it was a blues tune, but no. it was, however, in a minor key, as are most of her little songs.

i leave you with some quotes, from way back when she was not yet two from the depths of... last month.

"what happened to the bouncing bridge?"
oh, it's broken, eva.
"it broken. it got bounced too much. by kids... and boys!"
(this "kids and boys" thing persists. i wonder, does she see girls as the default and thus boys as the "other"? or is it just an accident of language acquisition?)

(seeing two men climbing giant redwood trees on the "planet earth" documentary:)
"what are those two monkeys doing?"
"ummm, it a man. two mans. two monkey mans! *hahaha*"
(little does she know her own papa is a monkey man.)

(first words after waking from nap)
"sareee!" (giggling, meaning her cousin)
"i love sarey."
ah, you love sarah?
"uh-huh. i give sarah a hug and a kiss at gram's austin house!"
yes, you sure did.

i'll leave it at that and do my best to write the many great stories from alaska soon. i just hate to taint happy stories by writing them while i feel less than happy (not that i'm so sad, i'm just not in the right head space).

but did you know? she turned two, my baby is two years old. amazing...

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