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Friday, March 5, 2010

11 months

February 27, 2010

Dear Asa,

One day after you turned 11 months old, we got on a plane and flew half way around the world - what a way to celebrate, eh? But I'll back up a moment first....

We started this adventure by driving to Carmel Valley, Ca. A sort of half way point between home and Los Angeles, where dad had some work to do finishing the latest album. You're quite the seasoned traveler now, so the 7 hour car ride was a breeze for you. You happily ate a few snacks and watched the world pass by your window. One night with family (Hi Paul, Jody, Haley and Rayna!) and we were on the road again. Another 7 hours of snacking, sleeping, singing and window watching and we arrived in Los Angeles.

(Grandpa Paul reads you "Where The Wild Are" for the first time)

(Ang takes it easy in Carmel Valley)

We had 10 wonderfully chaotic, awesomely busy days with our friends in Los Angeles. Lillian, 6; Harry, 2; and Althea, 1. Now Asa's dearest friends. He dutifully followed any and all children around the back yard - trying to climb trees, straddle big wheels and traverse stairs. There was hardly a dull moment as Asa learned to run with the pack. Althea showed you how to dance to "Funky Town". Lillian shared her cookies with you, which were your first (of many). And Harry showed you how to get on the Big Wheel and climb the tree in the back yard. Out of the Oregon winter (quite mild compared to our last winter in New York) and into the warm Southern California climate, we practically lived in that backyard. You are fascinated by the outdoors, always wanting out, always wanting to explore. So we did just that, and happily. While there your 8th tooth popped out (after a long night of crying) and we bought your first pair of hard soled shoes. You walk quite well now, chasing kids and small animals without too much falling, climbing stairs and steps with ease. You even "run" when your dad or I chases you, threatening a good armpit tickle. Tumbling, ever onward...

(Little kids on big wheels)

(Harry and Lillian wrestle)

(This boy is a gorgeous one)

(Monkey see, monkey do)

After much backyard play we boarded The Flight at about 10:30pm. Can I just tell you how terrified I was about this flight? When I flew with you at two months I was nervous. After that flight I realized I had nothing to worry about. You were an absolute doll, happy to nurse most of the way, sleep the other bits and occasionally open an eye to coo at my neighbor. Really quite uneventful. But that was a puny little cross country flight, a mere five hours on board. And you were so little, barely animated, you lived horizontally, sleeping in my arms, looking dreamily up at me from the breast. But this latest flight was a monster cross the Pacific Ocean fly half way around the world flight. And you are an upright, go-getting, eager for the world boy! What to do?! So we gathered tips and trick from friends, we packed our bags with new toys, new treats and your favorite blankets. We brought cookies and crackers, dried fruits and fingers foods galore. And you know what, it worked! You fussed a few times, mostly just unhappy about the cold that has been clinging for weeks. You ate your foods, and played with your toys. You ran down the aisles, charmed the flight attendants and slept a good portion of the way. The last few hours did seem dreadfully long, but I think that was inevitable. You were wonderful really, and I thank you for it love. (Now lets just remember that for the return flight, shall we?)

(Big wheeler)

(Drew communes with the local wildlife, Balboa Park, Ca.)

Your grandpa was there at the airport in Sydney to greet us with a warm smile and a big bear hug. A few hours in the car (on the wrong side of the road!) and we were home, at Narawalle Beach. The place your father remembers playing as a child, the beach he learned to swim at, catch waves at, play beach cricket at. His childhood home. And now you are here too my love, teetering down that very same shore, splashing in the shallows, scooping up the sand and running from the waves. Your father's pride radiates. He glows here, his first born in arms, proudly presented for his Australian family to see, to smell, to touch to love. And my goodness my dear, do they love you! You have four of your seven cousins here and each of them is happy to lift you up to reach that toy just beyond your fingertips, or share a bit of banana, show you how to work that tennis racket. Happy to play with you in your grandparent's backyard, or watch you play on the beach. They have brought you gifts and held your hand, kissed your cheek and sang you songs. Oh how they love you so.

(King of Narrawallee Beach)

(Proud papa)

And so begins our next adventure, Australian edition. We have many days ahead of us and many big plans. And I am so excited to be here with you.


1 comment:

Sharon said...

I love that nude bum on the beach, so sweet. Your blog is really beautiful. You have such a way with words. I can relate to a lot of what you write but would never be able to write it like you. Congrats on your new little girl and thanks for sharing your beautiful family.



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