We went to sleep early last night after a very long day traveling back from Costa Rica. First the bus from Puerto Viejo to Sixaola, passport stamps, cross the bridge, another passport stamp back to Panama, then the ride to Changuinola where we waited for the boat to Bocas.
I love this boat ride. It takes about twice as long as the one from Almirante but it is absolutely beautiful. There, you'll see hundreds of birds, plants and even possibly a manatee or two.
So we arrive home exhausted, eat a little and fall asleep to be woken around 1AM as thunder jarred us out of bed. Next thing you know, Lila joined us in bed and with each enormous clap and rumble, she grabbed onto me shivering. We waited to see lightening flash the room bright for just a second, then counted 1...2...3... until the thunder arrived. At first, they were simultaneous. But soon enough, count to 6 and the thunder wasn't as loud. Then 12, and the next thing you know only the sound of rain on the roof and walls of our place.
"Where'd the thunder go?," Lila asked. Then, she was wide awake, excited, and wanting more."Do you remember when we listened to the thunder in that place before yesterday?" she continued.
She was talking about La Spezia. The morning we left Italy to return to France, we also were wakened by an enormous storm. Thinking she'd be scared, I climbed into bed with her before it woke her. There, we listened to the all the sounds of the weather.
This is something I missed in NYC. No matter how bad the rain, we never heard more than a soft patter through the thick schoolhouse walls (build in the early 1920s).
What I've also missed even though I hadn't realized it until last night is cuddling like this with Lila. It's been so long since she slept with us nightly, and in fact, these days, prefers to have her own bed. She's getting so big and so much more mature, and often rather defiant as well. Don't misunderstand, she's still the same sweet cuddly girl, but I think she turns more to her daddy, (aka the human jungle gym) than to mommy. It's normal, and it's right. After three years of being the one she went to for food, play, sleep, comfort, everything, it is good for us to both have space and time separate from each other. I suspect true independence develops in this way.
Today, Lauren a couchsurfing friend we met in Atlanta back in November arrived with three friends. They're in the house changing to go to the beach as I type.
More on this and our trip to Costa Rica later today.