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My Caribou Cheerleader

osborn caribou

"Children reconnect us to romance... The passions that for us grown-ups rise and fall only in exceptional circumstances, unexpected storms on the dull normal beach where the tide breaks unchangingly, rise every day for them... They compel us to see the world as an unusual place again. Sharing a life with them is sharing a life with lovers, explorers, scientists, pirates, poets. It makes for interesting mornings." - Adam Gopnik, Through the Children's Gate; A Home in New York.

You see the innocent little cherub above? That's Baby (and the lovely glare from my flash). In this picture, taken just this morning, Baby's waving to her newest friends, a group of Osborn Caribou. She loved these caribou. In fact, it was love at first sight. She saw them in all their brooding, hunky might and wasted no time serenading them with a high-energy and impressively choreographed dance that involved shaking and bouncing and fist-pumping. The caribou, though rather motionless and quiet and frankly a bit stand-offish, seemed to appreciate the staunch support.

Currently, it's 2:04pm and Baby is boycotting her afternoon nap. This has become quite the weekend ritual. One which her parents don't exactly adore. But one she seems to find daring and delightful. As I write this, she is in the living room, with Husband, explaining to him, in her precocious babble code, just why at 9.9 months old, she is indeed mature enough to drop her afternoon nap. I'm not sure he's buying it. He better not be. Anyway, that is not the point of this post. Just a cathartic and whiny footnote.

Nap or no nap, it's been a good day. Because amidst the onslaught of the Upper West Side stroller crew at the American Museum of Natural History, Baby, little Baby, stood there, doing that precarious dance, flailing those delectably chubby arms, celebrating a curious creature she'd never seen before. Because, for the few moments I stood there watching her diapered sway (and praying she didn't bash her chin on the railing), I was able to escape that "dull normal beach" of adulthood. For those few stolen moments, I was able to forget about normal grown-up things. For those few stolen moments, I was able to lose myself in the eyes of faux caribou and experience with my tiny explorer that rueful rise of passion, that fitful storm of excitement, and focus on something random and new and beautiful. For those few stolen moments, I was a kid again.

Now it's time to log off, reunite with my rebellious Caribou Cheerleader, and enjoy what I am sure will be an interesting (and napless) afternoon.

Change Your Mind

A Bittersweet Goodbye