Baby bear responds to a shelling of questions about her age, “free,” she says proudly. Sometimes she fires back impulsively before she even hears the question and throws off her interrogator. After her forty-five-minute class the instructor asked me if she goes by another name. I respond no. She tells me she said her name was free. “Three,” I translate, she just turned three.The entire class baby bear waited patiently for her turn until the instructor called, “Free,” and she bolted to the apparatus and pulled herself up to the parallel bars and followed instructions precisely. At home we reveled.

It was a celebration of youth, freshness, color and sprite-like play. Icicles on our eves were no longer melting, another braise on the stove-top and a whole lot of deliberations for the fiesta…it was finally here. We are unsettled in our winter bodies, like disoriented awakening hibernating bears, we blinked in the long-forgone sunshine that greeted us that morning. We couldn’t have wished for more, okay maybe more balloons.

I watch my pomaded and combed (at least for the first hour into the fiesta) baby bear looking not quite like a baby anymore. Things change. Time is how we keep track. I’m falling more in love with this charged, visceral quickly growing being as her dream of her first party unfolds. Despite the usual frenzy that occurs with some extra sugar in the bloodstream of little ones, I am lulled by the capturing stillness when things wind down.A suspension of time at the pinnacle of a growth spurt. A time to turn over the demitasse and read the coffee grounds to make sense of the putative future.A glance outside, slightly arched green stems protruding from underneath dried leaves…a welcoming addition to our woodland gardens, and the party really starts going with the texture of life changing and the anticipation of spring around the corner.

The morning after the boys take charge…silver dollars on the griddle, and guacamole to accompany the kale latkes. Birthday girl sleeps in. Under her sumptuously warm comforter she dreams…the best is yet to come.

26 thoughts on “Still

  1. I am in awe that she’s three! I can imagine her excitement in anticipation of her birthday. She’s been watching her big brothers celebrate their special days and I’ll bet she was eager to have her big moment! You make every day celebratory for the children, Cristina, so I can only imagine how fun and meaningful it is in your nest when there really is a special occasion. Happy Birthday, little Miss Baby Bear!

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    • Thank you for your encouraging words Debra. Baby Bear gives me the strength for our daily adventures. As for her special day, everyone helped to make it especially festive even our guest. We had a lot going on in our nest, in the middle of painting, putting together a table for communal gatherings like these and unfortunately some trees came down which brought me to tears. I couldn’t have mustered the strength without everyone and while I grieve for the lost trees that in part made me fall hard for our nest, I have my happy and healthy bears.

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      • You lost the trees due to weather, Cristina? Ouch! I do smile at hearing you express love for your nest. You’ve had a lot of transition, and yet you’ve made your nest so loving and personal. I just know it is!!

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      • No unfortunately communication was lost in translation somehow and the wrong tree was removed. My heart sank as I pulled up to the house with it missing. A whole lot of commotion while we were prepping for baby bear’s fiesta that day. According to the aborhist the tree needed to be removed as it is seen as a hazard. I feel it was said, however because it wasn’t the tree we discussed, our nest is exposed and I’m feeling vulnerable and still heavy hearted. So grateful for your kind thoughts and that I somehow am able to convey it in my space that you visit. I do try to make the best with what we have or by making conscious and well thought out decisions when we are able to purchase something for the nest. A table has been on our list since move in so that we can commune and feast together. We are blessed to have found our nest and that in itself brings joy, with or without everything in place just yet.

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      • My heart hurts for you, and for all of us, I think, when a tree is unnecessarily removed. Things like this can leave us feeling so raw, and as you are literally experiencing, exposed. 😦

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