In the summer before we had Coralie, I spent a fair amount of time (and friend Jo’s as well!) looking for the ‘perfect’ place to bring back our little babe. Quite an oxymoron down here, as no place will fit all criteria. Although miles from his place of work, Yann agreed to an apartment that was conveniently located for my consideration, hillside above Nanny Cay. Nanny Cay is a private marina/beach/pool/bar/business district that is practically one of the only stroller friendly spots on island. At the time, I had really not put that much weight into the location, other than it was a lovely apartment, close to a few friends, and yes, also near Nanny Cay, which I figured we would pop down to once a week or so. Little did I know how much that little community would become part of Coralie’s early years.
In the first couple of months, Coralie and I seemingly headed down to the coffee shop just about every morning, just after Yann would head for work. After already being up for a few hours, I would find myself quite restless and alone in the house with a long day ahead. Quickly I began to feel connected to the little community that is established in the marina, which help ease the sense of isolation that occurs while adjusting to life as a stay at home mom. The surprisingly nurturing ladies at the restaurant would take C from me for minutes at a time to enjoy the freedom of a solo bathroom break, while the amazingly compassionate barista at the coffee shop would listening to my endless rattles. The pool would also become a place for daily outings, from about three months on, meeting various moms and babes there in the afternoon for gossip and a drink. At about six months when we began feeding solids, I found it much easier to practice the art of eating whilst outside the home. Many bird families were fed from what did not make it into Coralie’s mouth. I’m also quite certain Coralie’s first steps were made on the patchy lawn around the beach bar, as is probably many children’s on the island, it being one of the few plots of flat grass.
And now, here two year’s later, we still find ourselves drawn down to Nanny Cay at least three times a week, especially on the weekends when Coralie nad I are on our own while Yann is busy at work. This past weekend we did a marathon session, starting at the coffee shop before nine with a quick chat to Betty, followed by a long stroll with Liz and Liz. Coralie had a lunch time play on the beach with friend Francis, which tired her out enough for me to enjoy a few hours of peace while she napped. We finished the day with tree climbing and pizza with Sam and Coco, before making our way around six. Not every weekend includes such a whirlwind, but it’s nice to know that the social atmosphere is available when we are feeling cabin fever on a quiet day.
As we look to move further East on the island to help ease Yann’s commute, and bring us closer to the school, I wonder what the change will bring to our NC time. While it will be nice to find community in a new place on the island, we will always have strong memories at Nanny Cay of those speedy early years from babe to toddler to the little person she is today.