Yep -- we're here on the home front once more. Settling back into what looks like normal to us (at least.) My mom and grandma had a terrific time with Victor and he had a fantastic time with them too! Lots of walks, carrying of sticks, having basically the world in your hands. I really love how much fun, caring, attention and silliness took place while we were away. Victor learned to seeing the "E I E I O" part of Old MacDonald and loves to sing it as much as he can now -- his little baby voice is just so sweet it hurts. He says something that passes as thank you and can point to his nose if he sees one in a picture. It must have been some sort of grandmother educational training camp.
It was terrific to have time away, which makes the time together really great. I have been recharged -- and given our wading through the toddler years -- I'm sure that was a good thing.
I learned a few things during our travels -- ya' know I'll share....
1. Travel is good: Enjoying the different pace of exploring, seeing a new place with an earnest interest & excitement -- seeing the differences and the similarities that we all share.
2. Outdoor seating is good: There were lots of families traveling with toddlers and young children (most older kids were in school) at the place we were staying -- and the ones that seemed to eat a multi-course meal without breaking a sweat were the ones eating outside -- because there weren't roads to run into -- the kids could eat and once they got ants in their pants they could play in the area around the table. They had toys and could chase lizards. Because of the little mysterious biting insects that came out after dark there weren't a ton of outdoor diners -- so the system worked well. Note to self taken.
3. You worry less when you know all is well: calling home or emailing helps to be able to put the 'what ifs' that creep into your head to rest. Hearing that everything is boring old normal is a comfort without a doubt.
4. Some peoples' cups are never full even when it's overflowing: I love to eavesdrop when I'm out in public and it's so easy because the average (mostly American) traveler talks as loud as a used car ad. In listening to these snippets -- I remembered that I am an optimistic person - Yuri is a realistic person -- a little yin and yang. As I heard people critical of just about everything - I felt sad for them somehow. I know there are things to be grumpy about in this world - but if all you look for is the bad, you miss the good that is happening to you at this very moment. If you always look for the bad, then even when the best of things happens....well it could have been better. If you have a terrific meal.....well the room was a little warm. If you stay at an awesome resort....well the beach was washed away by a Hurricane Wilma. I'll take looking on the sunny side of things, even when I'm wading through the crap that gets slung my way.
5. You learn the essentials in a different language: My Spanish is a bit rusty but I could still attempt conversation -- Spanlish is a good thing too. I learned to say "Me vive es en tu manos. No quiedo muerta ahora." My life is in your hands, I don't want death today -- I had to figure out how to tell people to be careful with the nuts - to not include them.
It worked out well until the last day. I went to bed itchy and saw I had some hives. I woke up and my bottom lip (only) was swollen, puffy, enlarged (whatever) at least twice it's normal size. It wasn't a cute look really. I walked around most of the day biting my lower lip and trying to look quizzical -- like I was trying to figure something out (like what the heck happened?!) Yuri sang "Mommy's got a fat bottom lip" to the AC/DC song "Stiff Upper lip". We concocted a story about how a beach vendor was giving collegian injections for $5 -- and we didn't know it was $5 per lip...until it was too late...and we only had $5 cash -- but by the time we arrived home, it was getting towards normal.
Can't wait to go again -- can't wait to take the boy -- can't wait to get back into what normal is for us (organized chaos) -- can't wait for my bottom lip to be symmetrical with the top one.