Capturing moments with Maya

Our infamous backpack with  Maya weighing slightly less than she weighs now.

Our infamous backpack with Maya weighing slightly less than she weighs now.

Welcome to my first blog. My hope is to allow people who know and love me and my family, particularly those far away, to use this to peer into the window of our lives, without the risk of criminal charges. Check out the “about” page for more details on what I hope this blog will become.

In anticipation of this blog I have started to pay more attention to some of the hilarious and exasperating things my daughter does on a daily basis. There have been many times I have tried to recount a tale of her adventures only to discover that I have completely forgotten it. Part of the goal of this blog will be to spend a part of each day capturing moments that would otherwise land in the deep dark pits of my memory, never to be recalled again. Without further adieu… here is the first attempt.

Today was a gorgeous west coast winter day; beautiful blue sky and a crispness to the air. It was our weekly swimming lesson. Maya, who is 3 in April, had just started the next level of swimming lessons – the big girl swimming lessons where she goes with the teacher and mommy stays behind and watches. Over the Christmas holidays I had spent quite a lot of time talking up the big girl swimming lessons and how exciting they will be – just her and the teacher and a few other kids. Mommy won’t be in the pool with her, but mommy will be watching. We wondered who the new teacher would be, would it be Cole, her first teacher or Mark her second, or maybe even an entirely new teacher.

Last Sunday was the first lesson. I had misread the time so we arrived a half an hour early, which increased my anxiety – she’ll never last a whole half an hour without getting completely bored – this will be a disaster! But of course, Maya proved me wrong. She spent a half an hour in the little pool and when she met her new teacher she trotted off after him without a second glance. I, on the hand, sat on the bench weeping. This was the first time she had ever gone with a teacher off by herself. She had never gone to daycare and everything else we do is parent participation. She was so grown up and she was barely 2 and a half! I felt bad for the poor dads, seated beside me, of the two little boys in her class. They were trying to be friendly and talk to me and there I was, tears streaming down my face and nothing I could do to stop them. It was a little waterfall. Finally the weeping stopped and I was able to actually converse with other adults. Who knew it was actually me that needed the weeks of preparation?

Today’s lesson was not quite as smooth as last week’s. She wanted mommy to hold her hand as we went to the shower and wanted me to come in the water with her. I reminded her that mommy didn’t have a bathing suit on and that she needed to go with the teacher and more importantly … they had toys for her! The toys did the trick and off she went. Her instructor said she did great.

In the afternoon we all decided to go for a walk in the forest to enjoy the rare blue sky. The northern Pacific west coast spends much of the winter under heavy rainfall; a day of clear blue sky is a blessing. We live quite close to a beautiful forest and decided to walk there. Maya was wearing her new pretty pink long underwear and her new purple warm socks (courtesy of MEC and Christmas money). She refused to go into the backpack and wanted to walk to the forest. I find that when we have a destination in mind, our walks get taken up with coaxing; coaxing her to stop dawdling, to get going, to get her to the forest. When I saw that she was going at a rather slow pace, I suggested to Dave that we let go of any destination we may have had in mind and just enjoy being outside; let her explore and dawdle and take her rests every few houses. She likes to take rests on people’s lawns and tell us she’s waiting for the bus.

Eventually, we actually did make it to the forest. I like to tell her that walking in the forest is always an adventure because you never know who you’ll meet. We don’t have any pets, so the best surprise for her is to meet dogs along the way, especially dogs who will stop and say hello and maybe even lick her face. We saw a few today. As they passed she said “I love that doggie! He is so fluffy!”

On our way back home we convinced her to get into the backpack. As soon as she was in she ordered me to “Bounce mommy!” This is our routine. I will do a slow bouncy jog and she will break out into song, as loud as she can. Her songs are mostly made of a mixture of gibberish and actual intelligible words or phrases. For a long time her song went back and forth from “mommy diving in the water” to “I love you mommy”. Today it was “pay them the money” and then her own language. Dave said it looked like he was the trainer, I was in training as I bounced along with this massive backpack on my back and Maya was Yoda, urging me along with undecipherable song, sung joyously at the top of her lungs. She brought smiles to a few people as we bounced by.

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