Drizzly and misty like a superior Seattle Sunday -- that was what Uzhhorod had to offer me this 2:42 PM as I set out for the local hospital where I could, once again, love-on dem wee wonders at the end where they live behind closed doors so you can't really hear when they cry.
Hiking boots tied tight, I tromped through mud and through spooshly puddles. The two mile was pleasant and I shamelessly sang out loud - something you just don't do here 'cept if you're crazy or if you have a jolly heart.
I entered the hospital and got the similar greeting I always get by the staff who hasn't met me yet. "Girl! Where are you going?" I gestured down the halls and pantomimed soothing a baby. After I got her glaring approval, I suited up in the Santa-hat smiley scrubs and teal slippers from the box in the closet.
Flip-flip-flop I went down the hallway to the babies. I quietly opened the door.
I checked the other room and, low-and-behold, there were two wee ones I had never met before... sleeping.
I rocked myself in the broken rocking chair in the hallways, waiting for them to wake. After 10 minutes of prayer and thoughts, I decided I would stroll the wait away.
Raincoat and boots resestablished on my body, I headed back into the rain. In the city, I went to the second-hand shop on the second-floor of a pink building on the corner. There, I saw her.
I saw her!
The lady I met in Moscow!
The lady that slept above me the entire train ride from Moscow to Uzhhorod.
There she was.
Somehow, out of the 118,000 people in Uzhhorod, both of us were in the same room at the same time...
I tapped her on the shoulder.
And she took me out for coffee (and I got tea). I'm not sure if you've ever had tea with someone when you both can't speak each other's language. It's interesting. See, the point in getting coffee with someone is to talk... so we sat. Sort of talked. Laughed
She wanted me to wait because her son was coming.
He came with Google Translate and we conversed a little bit more.
Then they asked if I could wait for his girlfriend to come.... I had to decline. Those babies! It was already 4:48 PM.
Back at the hospital, I got there in time for one of the new-babies to wake up. I quickly scooped her up into my arms. She was oh-so-tiny! She was even younger than dear Artiem (who has since left the hospital).
I called her Peach because she needed some sort of name and she had a furry-fuzzy head.
Peach wanted to be rocked. She wanted to be held. And if it wasn't just right she would arch her miniature back and let out a curdling-hollah! Now, I couldn't have a baby yellin' like that so that left me quite the task to keep her content. I was pretty sure she wanted milk, but I had nothing to offer her. I was pretty sure she wanted to suck on something, but I only had my fingers and they weren't clean enough.
I started to dance with her.
I circled and wove around the floor.
A big window kept the room well lit.
Just the three of us in this room. Two babies and I.
The room echoed as I set the soundtrack to go with the pulsing rhythm I soothed her with. I patted, I rocked, I swung, I hugged, I did whatever I could to keep her calm and comfortable. She let me know with a piercing scream and crinkled up eyes when she didn't approve.
I kept track of what music she approved of.
Approves: Stevie Wonder, Justice ("D.A.N.C.E."), German Disney songs, Sam Cooke (soul), the "Christmas Song"
Indifferent: Scott-Gaelic puirt à beul and waulking.
Dislikes: the Beatles
Can't put that child down.
Until it was time for me to go.
On the walk home, the man (the one who followed me for a mile to the store, waited for me outside of it, and annoyingly followed me for yet another mile till I ran away and walked with this person I had just met) saw me again and yelled. I ignored him.