I had no language yesterday. That happens sometimes, but after living here 4 years and returning 5 times, it’s not a good feeling. Depending on the group of people, the topic of conversation, and the amount (or lack of) one-on-one conversation, my fluency goes up or down. I needed my husband to interpret most of the conversation and I was humbled.
Instead of talking or following words, I watched. One girl in the group had my full attention. She carried her 5-month-old girl on her front side in a carrier. We walked around, picnicked, and fished for crabs. Her baby was on her most of the time.
She was patient, sweet, never begrudging the child attached to her. When the baby had a blow-out diaper and stained her shirt, she laughed and gently changed the baby into extra clothes.
I ached. Not sure if from wanting to do that all over again, or wishing I had carried mine like that more. Wishing I hadn’t been shocked everytime they made a stain.
Walking back from running a little one to the bathroom, I felt incompetent in lanuage and groping for the missed moments in my life. I could’ve studied the lanuage more diligently and taken more advice when I delivered my baby here.
I knew it all back then. I didn’t need advice.
Why do we realize we need advice when we get older and it feels too late?
The girl walking this soil 10 years ago with a swelling belly is different than the one walking now.
Oh, they keep telling me I haven’t changed a bit since our last visit. I hope they mean on the outside, that’s a compliment. It doesn’t feel good to hear I haven’t changed when I know I’ve learned so much.
I write to make sense of the absorbing that goes on in a day. Yesterday I absorbed the yucky feeling of being unable to speak; humbled because I know more words than they think I do.
I absorbed the regret of the distance I kept with my babies when I knew it all.
Now I’m absorbing the lesson. Ten years ago and all the years before, I knew what I was doing. I see my error now. Yesterday I came full circle. A decade later, when I know more for sure, I was struck dumb and reminded it’s good to remember you have a lot to learn.