Right now it's a relatively balmy 53F, and the sun is shining. The river "broke-up" yesterday and the night before, and the formerly encroaching waters have receded. On the ground everything is still shades of brown and grey (still awaiting the greening of the tundra), but the sky is blue and the sunlight glitters on the fluid river as it makes its way out to sea. Finally. What a difference a day makes.
LittleBit and I took advantage of the improvement in weather to walk down to the river and see it flowing along. This being Bethel it was still a dusty, muddy walk out there but it was pleasant nonetheless. By the time we got down to the river he had fallen asleep (to be precise I walked and he rode in my sling) so he didn't appreciate the view nearly as much as his mother did, but I'm sure he appreciates the improvement in Mommy's mood. There were still stray chunks of ice drifting in the current, but the point is that they had a current to drift in, rather than being stuck in a jammed up channel of pack ice.
Yesterday afternoon we had a play date with a woman from church and her children, one LittleBit's age and one about a year-and-a-half older. It was nice. It was good to get out of the house, good to visit with another adult, good for LittleBit to have a chance to play with other kids, and with other toys in another space. I do worry some days whether or not I'm giving him an environment that's sufficiently verbally rich. Most of the time it's just the two of us, and I have to be very conscientious about narrating aloud what I'm doing and talking directly to him. When he's with other children, especially those that are already talking (and the friend's older daughter is very well-developed chatterwise), I don't worry so much about whether he's getting enough verbal linguistic input. All the same, I'm extremely hesitant to put him in daycare for a variety of reasons, and he's too little for preschool. When I do put him in a preschool, I want it to be a legitimate educational experience and not just some place where kids are warehoused during the workday. By that time, though, we plan to have left the bush and be in a situation where we have some options to choose from, even if we have to lottery for them. I just have to make sure I'm doing my part every day so that his verbal skills are up to par. I know he's still awfully young for me to worry about his speech, but a mother worries. That's just how it is.
In the meantime, I'll be sure to take him out on our rare sunny days.