A woman from China Health Trends magazine contacted me recently asking me for photos of us to include in an article she's writing about long term travel. So I turned to our handy external hard drive, where a copy of every picture we've taken since getting a digital camera lives.
Such nostalgia. I lost myself in a swirl of photos from my pregnancy through Lila's toddlerhood in Brooklyn and to all the places we've traversed since our departure.
This particular image takes me back. See the high chair? We spent hours choosing that thing. Somehow these decisions seem so much more important at the time, particularly when you only have one child. We finally opted to go with this plastic IKEA job, because it was cheap and easy to clean.
This photo also makes me realize how our past connects to present and future. Lila has loved painting and drawing for as long as I can remember. Our friends Ken and Hanako gave her a first birthday gift of bathtub crayons. She drew all over the walls, the tub, the counter. She painted with non-toxic kid paint, yogurt, chocolate pudding. Her favorite canvas was her own body.
I mentioned Lila's body art to a NY painter friend of mine. She was horrified. She's all for creativity, but insists it must stay on a real canvas. I was surprised. I enjoy the impermanence of the body canvas. Similar to Buddhist sand mandalas, the artwork is ephemeral, but instead of ritual destruction, the child simply grows up, changes, and the original canvas disappears forever.
But I digress.
Lila took a look at this picture and asked me why she was painting on her body and the table. "Do you want to do that now?" I asked her? "No, I like paper," she said. And Styrofoam, cork, rubberbands, sticks, shells and leaves. I wonder what she will grow into next.