My baby girl doesn't need a sound machine.
Raindrops fall on wide palm branches outside her open window. A fan blows softly side to side, keeping mosquitoes from landing in one place long enough to bite. The rise and fall of motorcycle engines tearing down the gravel road leave behind a trail of dust that stirs and settles on our tile floor. The far-off colmado blasts bachata rhythms, its indiscernible lyrics our weekend soundtrack. Daihatsu trucks blare advertisements from oversized speakers. Dogs bark from behind iron gates, their voices echoing across the neighborhood.
Although I doubt very much Charlotte will remember anything from her first months of life in the Dominican Republic, I know that the noises and sights that surround her now have become her normal. She grows restless in silence and stillness. She much prefers the hum of a jeepeta and the uneven bounce of tires over a bumpy road.
Never for a moment do I regret having my daughter here. I love that she has already touched her toes into sand and felt salt water splash her face. I love that she hears around her little head a blend of Spanish and English, that she will probably know the lyrics of worship songs in a foreign language before the one spoken at home. I love that she looks up at faces of all different colors in awe and wonder. I love that our daughter already lives a full life.