February 24, 2018

England - october

We have just come back from France, and we're tired. I hadn't realised, but since we left our ecuadorian home it has been almost a month of moving to a different place every week or less, and I'm tired. Finally we are back in London and finally there is stillness. We are here for three weeks and soon we'll be moving to our next home in Scotland. We find our rhythm. Saoirse sleeps well and we all wake up tangled in our bed around 8, then come down to the kitchen where L (Saoirse's grandma) prepares breakfast and offers tea. The forest opens just outside the house, and in the late afternoon light the leaves turn yellow and gold. At night we take long baths in our giant bathtub – Saoirse loves the water so much, moves around and then settles on my belly to nurse.

One evening, we walk through the forest and stop at a nearby pub, before going back home in the dark, the twigs crunching under our feet. The lights from cars pierce through the trees and the fog, a blue halo floating around us.

One morning we take Saoirse to get her first shots – I was never afraid of needles, but I just can't watch the one that goes through her leg. She cries and looks afraid, and I hold her close against my chest, cradling her head, and tell her it will all be okay. In the evening, she has a fever and I lie down next to her holding her hand. I watch her sleep wrapped in her blanket, and she looks so fragile and tiny. I realise what they mean by having a heart outside your body – her sickness is mine, and I wish I could take it away and protect her forever.

C turns 26. I made him a photo album filled with pictures of him and Saoirse in Ecuador, and wrote him a letter.

“Sometimes I want to promise you that the girl you fell for is still somewhere in there, hidden away – but maybe that's not true. I know there will be days where the mother eclipses the lover and days where I'm so tired I forget my name and everything that is me – but I want you to know that whoever I am at any given time, I'm always someone who loves you – someone who still can't believe how lucky she got. And on days when I'm not strong enough to love you, I will still honour and respect everything that you are – the lover, the father, the friend.”

Sometimes, I miss Ecuador. I miss the warm glow of the streets at nights and the fresh morning air in our garden. I miss the sound of the river and our lovely coffee spot. I miss having a place to ourselves. Everything is so different here, like I have to relearn the rituals and customs of living in Europe – always thinking about having money on your travel time, getting to the train station on time, having a phone that works. I meet with my friend in the center of London and I walk through the crowd on Oxford Street, feeling like I could disappear. But against my chest, there is a tiny girl sleeping soundly, and she is my anchor.

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