Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's OK to miss your child

Once upon a time, when I was a foolish person with no kid (and a lot more free time), I thought that I would be a super mom who would manage to separate her social life and her time with her child. I imagined myself as a cool, slick woman who took care of her baby during the day and then went out in heels at night, or traveled the world with her husband, chasing wild animals in Africa or admiring the Vatican while the baby stayed with grandma. Well, as you have seen, I did tour the Vatican lately with the Diplomat while Son was cared for by my mom. What I never realized was how madly I missed Son during our time apart. has it ever happened to you? You decide that you want to go out on a date with your beloved while you leave your baby at home with the nanny. You envision romance, dress up, even put on makeup and comb your hair. You order a whole bottle of wine and appetizers and salads and both of you giggle how there is no one to pull the tablecloth, try to hang head-down from the high chair, pour down a glass of water on his head, dip his dirty cars into the wine glass or salt his pants. The problem is--it's all downhill from there. All you end up doing is talking about the child you left home. From time to time, you check yourself and resume trying to gaze into each other's eyes. Nope. Talking about Son's running around the apartment naked straddling the Swiffer earlier is the best conversation ever.
I am sure a lot of you have been in the same boat. Does that make us pathetic parents, only obsessed with their kids? No. While the Diplomat and I were on our trip after we dropped off Son with grandma, I realized something--I never thought I would say this, but Son's presence in my life is like an anchor; when I am around him, I know where I stand and what I am doing. Without him, I feel just a bit out of whack, like a piece of me is missing--I can certainly function without the piece, but it is not the same, it is not as much fun. And so I concluded that talking about him all the time, texting my mom asking for daily updates and (secretly) looking at pictures of him on my laptop while he was away was OK. I still am a cool, slick mom!

Venice was spectacular. It is intensely romantic despite the hordes of loud tourists. It is also intensely expensive. Obscenely at times--in our hotel, a coffee cost 5 euros; a bottle of Heineken--10. That is just pushing it. The entire city, besides, is one giant luxury mall--I don't think a single famous, less famous and not famous at all designer wasn't represented. It is a bit odd, actually--the bottom floors of all buildings on the main part of the island are designer boutiques and Murano glass shops, the top are old colorful Venetian buildings. My favorite part was the fish market in the Rialto--Venice's cuisine is fish and other seafood and the market was fabulous.

From all these travels I have this piece of advice for you travelers of the world: whenever you want to go see something very famous and popular with tourists, either sign up with a tour guide (they bypass the lines) or wait until about an hour or two before closing and then go.

We are back in Bulgaria for now, enjoying Son, grandma's hospitality and visits to various relatives. We are off to Borovetz tomorrow, a famous Bulgarian winter ski resort. I need the cool and the place is simply gorgeous. Naturally, that will involve even more eating and drinking. I can't wait to go back to the US and start cooking again. Yes, you heard right! I enjoy cooking. I also love ironing clothes.

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