Today is my last day of parental leave (lots of emotions!), so I’m looking through lots of phone pictures and thinking about some special moments in February:
1) Owls, all day, every day: The Owl Unit continues to dominate all conversation and it is a delight. There’s artwork, woodwork, research, games, and if I think too much about how I love this preschool and how there’s only a few months left of it, I’ll cry. So, just treasuring all these special moments:
2) Ice–skating in Yosemite: We took advantage of a long weekend to drive to Yosemite and see the snow. This year, Diego was old enough for the ice skating rink-and what a rink. Pretty stunning backdrop.
It was Leoneli’s first trip to the snow and Yosemite! The snow was definitely mostly old ice but it was still beautiful and this snuggly bear was game for all the exploring.
These two crack me up with how they make themselves at home in a hotel.
Best we could do!
On the way there and back we stayed in Stockton for the night and I loved this moment of Leoneli watching his Bisa making breakfast:
3) Unexpected Winter Break: Diego’s school closed abruptly for a week in February due to COVID. Thankfully, we rolled with it, since I’m on leave, and actually had a great time. We explored the beach, the zoo, the de Young-the second photo of Leoneli peaking out in front of the art makes me smile.
4) Afternoon beach trip: I’ve spent a lot of the last two years feeling precarious in my body-the cancer surgeries, pregnancy and postpartum in rapid succession left me wobbly. In the last few months, as I’ve felt stronger, it’s been empowering to feel comfortable going out and about with the kids by myself. We spent a happy winter afternoon at the beach. I really felt this strength and wanted to capture the feeling:
5) Baby’s first swing! Leonel is delightfully not wobbly and this sturdy kid took to the swings with joy.
6) Ferry trips to SF: I can’t say enough how grateful I am that we can now walk out of our house and take the ferry to SF (M-Friday, at least!). It’s a short ride and always a thrill to be on the boat as it passes under the Bay Bridge and arrives as the city. It’s magic during the day, at sunset, at night, all of it.
7) Valentine’s Day! Diego loves any reason to celebrate and make art. Ama came over before Valentines Day and they made tons of heart art. The night before, I taped them all to a wall in the kitchen and he was delighted to see his art on display. It made for a very festive Monday morning!
8) Long weekend at Camp Dewberry: As I’m looking at this, I think Diego was in school for maybe five days in February-lots of closures, lots of long weekends. We spent another long weekend in Irvine and mostly relaxed at home with Abu and Saba and had Diego’s (and my) favorite dinner-sushi from Taiko.
9) Tide Pools: Diego and I spent one morning and an evening at the tide pools and it was gorgeous and so special to have that one on one time together.
10) Being away from my computer: There’s a lot that I’m going to miss about parental leave, but looking at this picture from February, what stands out the most is this: being away from a computer and being present with my kids. The harsh reality is that when I go back to work (tomorrow!) this laptop is going to see a lot more of my face and my kids will see a lot less of it. It’s the brutal truth. This is not to say that I’ve been screen free during leave. There’s far too many times I’ve plopped Leonel down and scrolled on my phone for literally no productive reason other than to zone out. But, I remember this morning. Diego wanted to run outside, and so we did. We were playing, at at one point I thought, what time is it? I didn’t really know. I didn’t have to think about how many minutes we had to play before I had to get on a call. We just kind of…enjoyed the moment. That’s the freedom I’m going to miss. This moment, running in the sun and not having any other obligation than being there, on that grass, with this child, in this moment–I am so grateful for the time, for all of it.