My good and long-time friend R has been visiting the last few days with her 15-month-old son. I was so fortunate that they decided to pop by in this brief and dangerous lull between the last days of class and when all my term papers are due. (Tomorrow morning after they leave – out come the books!)

We spent the whole day today just out wandering and visiting people, and the sunshine cooperated, which here in the Rainforest, in the Rainy Season, is pretty much a miracle.

I’m really happy to be an honourary auntie to such a wonderful little boy. I am also lucky to have the parenting example of R, although my basic plan is a little different than hers – for a variety of reasons, she is full-time attachment parenting, and I’m pretty determined to keep working, especially after going back to school for a career I find really interesting. Her patience and warmth with her son are an inspiration.

Hanging out with my little “nephew” I demands this physical, ever-present-in-the-moment attention which is not my natural way of being in the world. It stretches me in a wonderful way. After he went to bed, I walked down to pick up our dinner and listened to a planning podcast and I could feel it engaging a totally different part of my brain – the analytical, thoughtful, long-range thinking part. I hope that when it is my time to be a parent that I can make this balance work, and find joy in the complete difference of these two centres: childish joy in the moment, and strategic thinking for the future.

Not to wish away the beautiful present, with some Christmas knitting on my needles and Z playing WOW in the other room, but I’m excited for what is to come.