Dear Js,

You put on your backpack. You were ready to visit your great grandmas. In your pack were your favorite toys, some books and some snacks.

Great grandma

Great grandma

You were cautious at first. Then you found her rocking chair:

Old telephone. Gotta love old technology – we plugged it in and it still works after all these years. We called it, it rang, and mama and I took turns pretending to be Mickey and Minnie Mouse. You hung up and said “Mickey and Minnie are coming.”

Mirror tricks – flying two headed monster:

Silly brother:

We weren’t fun enough, so you sat on the couch and started reading your “King of the Railway” book by yourself. I hadn’t seen you do that before. You can’t read, so you memorized it. I read along and confirmed that you got every word. You could skip pages and resume from any page. When you didn’t know the words, you hummed the rhythm and melody, which made me think that you’re remembering aurally:

The next day, you started cross-referencing the trains between King of the Railway and The Little Blue Engine that Could books. You’d say something like Percy is #6, just like the rusty old engine in the Blue Engine book. Abu said you weren’t supposed to be able to do that. We shrugged – we lost track of the things you’re not supposed to do.

Your other great grandma

I have no pictures of her. She is at a nursing home. The reason we came to visit was because she wasn’t doing well. She can’t move or talk. Before she lost her voice and mobility, she couldn’t form new memories and was progressively losing her old ones — from her newest to her oldest. Last time, when mama introduced herself, she said, “I can’t have a grand daughter, I’m only 16.” This time, she could only make tears in her eyes. No one could know what she was thinking.

I stayed outside with you to wait. I found some games to play:

J2 – you’ve made big progress while you were here. You’re rolling now, when you feel like it. You didn’t do it for me when I grabbed my camera:

Almost there

Getting better

You’re also practicing consonants – “baba baba memememe dadada…”

We took you to the pool the other day. Your brother demanded she let him sit on her lap instead of you, so I took you swimming. I floated you chest-down. You did your cobra stance and stretched your head back above the water. Then, you kicked as fast as a dog scratching its ears. Kick-kick-kick-kick-kick. Your body thought it was crawling. You’re a ball of fat so you floated. When you heard mama’s voice you twisted your body and paddled toward her. You’re going to crawl soon.

We can’t eat a civilized meal with you at the table though. You grab everything. The tablecloth, the plates, the bowls, the cups, the forks.

Mama tried to take her test for her IBCLC certification here. It was exciting. It was an online test with a time limit. With 37 minutes left, the internet went down. She ran out of Abu’s office flailing. We went through her options. Good thing she’s a geek. She saved the day by tethering her laptop to her smartphone’s internet with 20 minutes left and all her answers reset. She complained she got a 75%. I said hey better than zero.

J can’t sleep

You were singing in your sleep. At least, I thought you were asleep. When I picked you up, you smiled and said, “Daddy I need to go to sleep.” Like you were drunk.

You rolled everywhere like a pinball, even across my legs that were dangling off the bed. You sat up and asked for water. I walked to get it from the dresser. When I came back, you were sitting upright with eyes closed, waving your hand from your shoulder to the front, back and forth. I asked what you were doing. You said, “I’m doing wheels of the bus song.” Okay, I gave you your water. You leaned back on mama and drank. After 10 minutes, I said give me the water. As soon as the straw popped out of your mouth, you sang, “… round and round, round and round – the wheels on the bus go round and round… all through the town…”

You rolled around some more and it wasn’t til you rolled your butt over my face and I smelled something that I realized why you couldn’t sleep.

Last beach of this trip

This one was near San Juan. On calm days, the waves are mellow and you can see fish. But it had been raining, so the waves were choppy and full of debris. We played in the sand a little until you decided you had enough. I couldn’t figure out how to make it more fun, because I wasn’t feeling the beach either. You went back to mama for some snacks and downward dogs:

Then time for a snack on the best seat in the house

Then time for a snack on the best seat in the house

Tonight, while chatting with mama before bed and I brushed my teeth. I overheard you say, “I will miss the beach.” She asked what you liked about it. You said, “Throwing the coconuts, and daddy catching them…”

You remind me that it doesn’t take much, it’s the little things, and it’s often not what you fuss over.



P.S. You are starting to say you want to go home. I said we’re going home in two days. Not looking forward to the plane ride, but we’re all ready to go home. One last stop – Abu Jose’s house on his farm tomorrow.

P.P.S. – We visited Abu’s friend and you played the piano for the first time. Check out the posture: