Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hoop Dreams

I've finally made my d1 Collegiate Basketball debut. Oddly, though I'm not actually a student, no one seems to care! I've been playing pick-up games and practicing with the Mzumbe basketball team for about a year now. They've invited me many times to come play in their games, and I finally took them up on it and went. Got to be the token white guy for the evening. It was fun!
Naturally, in a place that always makes sense, it was the red team vs the red team. And it rained on us, but oh we played on! I went home with a rather red bruised up knee that was full of gravel, but it was well worth the fun of cheering on my friends and playing a few minutes alongside them. You can recognize me in the pictures as the one with the oldest, rattiest shoes... I really need to catch up with the times.

Mzumbe's best and youngest fans braved the rain to cheer on the team!

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Real African Mom

For fun, Joe Joe tied up Sawyer in the official African fashion last night. You take a large piece of cloth (also used here as skirts, shawls, shirts, diapers, blankets, and everything else), lean forward, hike him up on your back and then tie the cloth around in the front. He then sits there, head bobbing and looking out to the world. All of our neighbors do this while washing dishes, sweeping floors, washing clothes, tending and planting fields, walking to town, and everything else that makes up a day. Joe Joe just did it while making a sandwich.

It's been amazing how much more we've been welcomed and respected in our village as parents than when we were viewed more like kids. Maybe now we can really pass off as just another person in the village!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What we didn't know

Surprise positives of parenting:
-Incredibly strong thigh muscles. When holding a baby while sitting, and then standing, you have to get up without the usual hands push-off. Add to that the ability to keep your back and chest straight so as not to wake a sleeping baby, and I've got your thighs of steel workout right here!
-We get to see the sunrise, everyday.
-Other children's cries are a cause to celebrate... because it's not ours.
-Dates are much easier and more refreshing than they used to be: a quiet spaghetti dinner at home while the baby sleeps or stays with a friend? The most romantic/fun/relaxing night ever!
-Meeting new people and having conversations comes quite easy. Everyone wants to talk to the parents with the cute little baby, especially if they have one of their own. Sawyer already has nearly 20 girlfriends from every corner of the globe!
-The way we feel when he smiles.

Surprise negatives of parenting:
-We live in a tropical climate, our boy is a little heat-bomb, I'm destined to have a sweaty shoulder/chest/neck for a long time.
-Can someone so small really necessitate a load of laundry everyday?
-Little bruises on thighs and stomach. He likes to kick... hard.
-We get to see the sunrise, everyday.
-Every shirt we own is now stretched out at the neck. The boy's got a grip!
-A new way to think about every object we see: 'is that clean enough to go in his mouth?'

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sneaky Little Boy

Last night we were at a friend's house watching a movie. Sawyer was being a good boy, but as babies do, he filled his diaper up. So I took him and we sat on the floor. I undid the diaper to find a typical and yet always impressive display of gastrointestinal fortitude, and then all of us were distracted by a pivotal point in the movie. I held Sawyer still on the floor, letting him air out for a minute with the protective cover of his old diaper under him while we watched the big screen. Then the emotional movie moment was over and I turned my attention back to the baby on the floor. I looked down to see a single tear sliding down his cheek. He hadn't screamed and cried, hadn't made a sound; he'd simply shed one tear following a very sad moment in the movie. We all looked at him with a collective "aww" of adoration at the obviously cute coincidence.

Then I grabbed his shirt to lift it and continue the diaper change. But my hand instinctively pulled back when it felt a very wet piece of felt. My eyes honed in on a now apparent puddle of slightly yellowish liquid pooled under Sawyer's head, above his right shoulder. As it turned out, he had not at all shed a tear for the plight of the movie's lead character, but rather had silently turned himself into one of those 15th century little boy stone fountains while we were all distracted. The Fontaine de Sawyer had shot pee straight up in the air, which then came straight back down, all without a peep of sound, and all in the exact moment when we were distracted from the movie.

Well done my boy. I hope you got good chuckle out of that one...