I grew up in a town with two stop lights and one of each of the necessities i.e. bank, grocery, hairdresser and fast food joint. It was a somewhat picturesque town (minus the fast food joint) and a carefree, safe haven to grow up. But I don't miss small town life at all. Perhaps it was the gossiping or the eighties hair that never went out of style. But once I fled, I never went back. In fact my cities just seem to grow in size and confusion. Still old habits die hard. You see, I manage to create my own small town comfort zone in every zip code I inhabit. There is something, well comfortable, about establishing the routine of your daily life and consistently frequenting the same bakery or salon. And it seems I have passed this on to Georgia, too. Every Monday and Thursday we have breakfast at the same bakery (We always order the same thing. We don't even have to ask.) If you were to follow us on our daily walks down the streets in my neighborhood, as we pass by the usual "landmarks," you would hear Georgia's still limited vocabulary.
1. Agua--(The health food store salespeople let her dip her fingers in the little rock fountains--usually holding her.)
2. Nene (baby in Portuguese for the mannequin baby in the ballet shop where the owner lets her pat the tutu)
3. Ball (balloons that the kids clothing store have given her too many times to mention)
4. Cheese (her morning cheese at the bakery where she often hands out bread to the neighborhood)
5. ahhhhhh (lots of pointing and a word I can't decipher at the flower shop where the Japanese owner holds her little hand and has given her a mini plant to bring home)
And so the list goes. And it is always the same. I think to myself how lucky I am to know that these kind "small town folk" in the big city will watch my daughter grow up. An added bonus: They don't know enough about my life to gossip about me. Or so I think.