We’ve started a nighttime ritual that makes all the worries of the day dissolve. We dim the lights, line up the couch cushions (which are already on the floor, of course), and one of us – usually Mia – hides behind the couch. Then the paper puppets pop up, one by one, and a simple story evolves. Once in a while, a random paper cat emerges, interrupting the show with a shy Allo! in little Anina’s voice. It’s the most adorable thing ever.
Mia got the idea for a puppet show from an event organized by her school, the Puerta Abierta, on World Book Day. That night, she drew a few characters (and dresses), cut them up, and we propped them up using popsicle sticks. Yesterday I was able to finish up my proofreading work in the morning, and when she came home from school we spent a few hours making more paper people, a paper cat, and a giant butterfly. She loved it, I loved it, and Anina didn’t understand why I didn’t let her play with the glue. I love that we could make the puppets using only paper, markers, glue, and popsicle sticks. The best crafts are the simple ones, indeed.
I realize that these evening puppet shows are pretty special. They make me giddy with joy and I feel so grateful for everyone being healthy and happy and able to enjoy our time together as a family.
Last weekend, we picked up Mia from a playdate and walked through the cornfields along the lake to get back home. She was tired and cranky, and complained the whole way about rocks in her shoes and scratchy weeds. But I think it’s important to go on those walks anyway. The best memories are made outside. Woods and wild stretches of land are the backdrop of my own childhood, and the moments spent outdoors are the memories I hold closest to me now. Guatemala is different in the sense that there are always people in nature, here and there, everywhere – farmers working their land beside the path, a mother with a child strapped to her back carrying masa on her head… I do miss having wide expanses of unpopulated wilderness to get lost in. But, still. There are trees, and birds, and breathtaking beauty.
The rains are coming in fits and spurts this year. It almost seems like a tease, because I know the real rain – heavy, pounding, drenching rain – is just around the corner. I don’t tolerate heat very well, so this grey weather has been a relief to me. And actually, the days are not all grey – there are always windows of blue skies. The clouds shift and the sun reappears, emerging just to say Allo.