Saturday, January 01, 2005

Anya Goes to Washington--delayed post

Just back from DC which was a fun trip. Was part of my nanny job to go and care for Anya while Maya did her conference and we spent two nights so that we got to be tourists for two afternoons. The mall was our big attraction. The days were warm--that means we didn't have to have our coats zipped up, and sunny and we gawked like good tourists at the imposting monuments.

The subways were awesome. Clean, new, spacious--one might think all the nation's subways would be so great, but no, only this showpiece for foriegners. We got out at Metro Centro and walked up past the WWII memorial all the way up along the reflecting pool to the Lincoln memorial. Thought about the history of this country. Lincoln could never be elected these days, too ugly, too honest, too forgiving. He was a man who agonized about his decisions--spent dark days questioning what was right--whether freeing the slaves was the right course. Such indecision could never be tolerated now. Considered WWII. The innocence of much of the nation--the willingness to sacrifice. Now we must get a tax cut to make war palatable and ban pictures of wounded Americans. It is a country I'm slowly beginning not to be able to recognize.

Being with Anya was a delight. She stares, she babbles, she gazes, smiles, croons delight, has moments of what can only be called ecstacy and then falls apart shortly before falling asleep. She has none of the prejudice and baggage that I have about what is important or good to be interested in, whatever it is fascinates her. And the strangers love this age, smile at her, she stares back or smiles, her index finger often in her mouth. She likes to feel her two new bottom teeth. She babbles loudly sometimes to get their attention and is rewarded with their grins. Then she bounces up and down with excitement-successful communication has happened. Mothers smile at us as they pass in their strollers, sometimes stopping to exchange the specifics of age. Fathers came up and said how they missed their baby and wanted to go home to her. The sweet world of parenting.

It is a blessing to be with someone who finds the whole world a place of wonder and whose presence reminds me of the magical display I live in.

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