Monday, January 11, 2016

El Niño y La Niñas

January 6th, 2016

Dear Sprout,

It’s been raining for days. I am so happy I can say that. It’s an El Niño year. I’m happy to say that too. This summer was miserable hot. Ants invaded. I basically only wore shorts and a nursing top around the house and I was still overheating, even at two a.m. You never wore any of the newborn footy pajamas you got. I remember enjoying it only because it would make the winter, if it ever came back, that much better. I also thought that it would add great dramatic appeal to the stories I would tell about the summer you were born. “I felt like we were even getting tan inside and almost all the kelp beds died. Maybe because they got cooked in the ocean," I could hear myself exaggerating some day. I remember your Nonny saying that she would never forget the summer Aunt Danielle was born, not just because of dear baby Danielle with her happy smile and round head, but because it was the hottest summer of her life. She told me that she and I and the new baby would just lay upstairs on her big, cloud-of-a-bed with the air-conditioning on all day. It sounded special, even though I don’t remember it at all.

Today there is lightening and thunder and a small sleeping baby with peas under her finger nails. I’ve been letting you try to feed yourself lately. As if I wasn’t already cleaning the kitchen like a busgirl, now I basically have to wash the whole thing every time you put your hand on a spoon. But you're "exploring food" and for a few minutes a day it makes me feel like a mom from a parenting book to allow you to do so. It’s also really amusing watching you lick smashed banana off your knuckles while you kick your feet with delight.

Yesterday is was so dark and rainy that your baby monitor was on night vision mode even for your 1 p.m. nap. The dial on the monitor turns red if there’s a loud noise in your room, such as scream-crying, but it was turning red just now because of a clash of thunder. But the baby sleeps through. Some people are calling it “The 50 year storm.” How exciting. Even as destructive and inconvenient as weather events can be, I still love being a part of them. It makes me feel kind of like it’s my birthday and my gifts are astonishingly dark clouds and the national news coming to a small riverbed nearby. There is so much anticipation, so much attention, but only for a minute and then it's on to the next storm. It’s also nice as a mom home with a new baby that something is going on right outside your windows and you don’t even have to spend 36 minutes packing the car to see it.

On New Year's Day our friends Ross and Jenny came over with their three month old son. Ross said he was envious of his baby son. I nodded because I figured he meant for all the obvious reasons: babies get to take long naps, be carried around, play whenever they want and go to the bathroom without having to stop what they're doing, but he said, “They get to see everything for the first time.” Of course.

There is something to be said for being witness to you seeing things for the first time too. 

Avalon Wild, you were born in an El Niño year and together we loved it.



  1. I love the drama of a big storm as well. Over here we have the Jet Stream causing havoc right above us. Instead of its usual 100mph it has been at 250mph and we've had endless winds coming straight up from the south, rainstorm after rainstorm and flooding in lots of places. I remember being pregnant with my eldest in the hottest weather ever recorded here. And later, being pregnant with his brother and lying with him at naptime getting hotter and hotter. Of course, it all sounds blissful from this vantage point. How lovely that Avalon is on solids now. There's nothing quite as funny as watching a baby taste something new for the first time. CJ xx

  2. This last line is loooovely and would also be a wonderful opening line for a novel - just saying ;)

    Happy new year to you and your family, Devon! I hope it's a wonderful one xx

  3. Incredible! "They get to see everything for the first time" - what an incredible thing to think about. And that last line of this post is beautifully spoken. I agree with Adeline above, it would make a great opening linen to a novel! :)


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