Wednesday, October 17, 2007

On the move

In big ways, and little ways.


"A very comfortable exercise for mother and baby is to put baby in a sling-type carrier and walk for at least one hour every day."
--The Baby Book, William Sears, M.D. & Martha Sears, R.N.

They say this like it's normal and anyone can do it. So not true!

I’ve resorted to walking down the street nursing. Discreetly, of course—sort of. Probably the construction workers I pass know exactly what I’m doing. On the beach near the hotel that marks the border of Villa Obregón, I noticed that the bottom half of the baby’s body was hanging out of her carrier. I was tempted to keep going. “Just a little bit farther!” I remember the time my mom went into the grocery store in Lake Oswego, Oregon, to pick up one thing, leaving my screaming sister and I for the peace of misted fruits and vegetables, the soothing expanse of cereals. I still remember the cart full of big paper bags that finally came squeaking back to the car. I remember walking up and down hardware store aisles, the smell of lumber, metal, and new plastic, while she bought roof tiles or sandpaper or 1 1/4 inch nails. I stop. The baby has a wet diaper. Naked on her blanket, she looks happily up at the sky and listens to a crow in the coconut trees that surround the hotel parking lot, then grabs a fistful of damp morning sand. Suddenly, sand is all over both of us. She needs to eat. I lean back against the chain link fence to feed her, realizing that I’m wearing a really short skirt. Several young men are walking in my direction. She starts to cry, exactly as if we were back at the apartment—I hesitate to call it “home.” But for her, I realize, we are home. I am home.

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