Misty 2

The weather in California so far has been mostly cold and misty in the morning and evening. Micro climates abound. In one place I wear a warm fleece jacket and scarf, in another I peel off to my tanktop. In the morning clouds obscur the view, then lift for awhile in the afternoon to reveal blue sky. Then, towards the end of the afternoon enormous cloudbanks appear on the horizon and I look for my coat again.

We went on several expeditions while opa and mama were busy exploring how to change the world. First there was the famous Monterey aquarium. Despite the stickershock (120 dollars for Jim, Faro and myself, including a 10 dollar discount for my white hair), we entered the sprawling arrangement of buildings along cannery row, and enjoyed the various displays, not so much the screaming children. Saffi couldn’t care less and slept through it all. Faro was less inerested in the displays and more in the countless hands on activities, perfectly geared to his age.

We drove to Big Sur and hiked up to the Pfeiffer waterfalls, a steep hike for a 4 year old. He fell twice over roots and stones and now has an eggsize bump on his head and two scraped elbows to show for it. After the initial shock and tears, and four arms to hold him, he forgot about it in about 5 minutes. Dad was more concerned. I recognized my own mother’s nonchalance in my response: not a big deal – kids are not as fragile as parents often think. Grandparents know this.

Monterey has built an enormous playground for kids of all ages, it is called the Dennis the Menace playground. Jm would keep an eye on excited Faro and I would look after Saffi, usually asleep in her baby carrier. I observed Californian parents hovering and praising their kids. It brought back memories of my days as a student of child psychology, observing how kids moved in a playroom. I saw little signs of cooperation, or even contact, unless it was about territory.  Everyone, including Faro, were busy experiencing the various playground activities as if they were isolated pieces on a chessboard, only making contact when they were in competition. This is the downstream of what Sita and Axel were trying to remedy.

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