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some wonderful things about visiting the inlaws

Saturday, September 12, 2009

i love buenos aires. it's a beautiful, fascinating city, overflowing with great film, dance, theatre, music, funky craft fairs and plazas. there is high-quality, abundant children's theatre, and you can get the best puppets i have ever seen in almost any plaza, direct from the self-taught puppet-makers. it has stunning architecture and design; the best caf├ęs, streets and people for people-watching; and it's bursting with gut-wrenching, mind-blowing, ideology-transforming history and activism. it is full of all those stark contradictions of child labour and glitzy shopping malls; street kids, slums and high fashion.

but this time, i didn't 'do' buenos aires in this way. it was just a plain old visit to the inlaws, in the suburbs, way too painful and hellish a train-ride away from the hip and hopping core. still, it is not macondo. it was a mini family vacation, including a 1000km road trip each way, which the kids dealt with pretty well.

by far the best part was our visit to the top specialist in children's growth, who put to rest our worries about the monster's littleness. yay!! it also had its difficult moments, which i'm still trying to figure out and will probably write about here eventually (including a total crying breakdown mess over the monkey's birthday cake). i might be a little more depressed than i thought...

in any case, i also found pleasure in little things, including enjoying time with my kids. and:
  • hot water
  • water pressure
  • doting extended family for the kids, sometimes meaning several hours in a row of not even seeing the kids - they're perfectly happy without me. can you believe that??
  • sweaty, dirty, hilarious cousin play, ending in shared baths, bruises, overtired kids and sleepovers
  • buying the paper around the corner in the morning (can't get it until the afternoon out here in macondo)
  • cable tv (lovely to trash out now and then, and great for following the current political mess about a new, so-very-important communications law here)
  • ice cream delivery! why doesn't this exist everywhere?
  • vegetarian empanada options - yum
  • patched and falling-apart sheets and towels (i love the old-timeness and the eco-qualities of having these same items for a lifetime, though the i-desire-comfort part of me isn't so thrilled about it. i have only love though for the fridge still in use from the 1960s. so eco and so retro...)
  • kids playing with wood and iron toys - carts, trucks, bikes, animals - made by my brother-in-law


Bobcat said...

i tried to comment on this a couple of days ago, but for some reason it didn't post. oh dear s, i'm getting emotional about peanut turning a year old. i can feel it, and am afraid that while we're having a nice party, i'm going to have a breakdown. is this normal? did this happen with you for monster's first? are you feeling depressed in general, or was this just an outburst of emotion that you didn't expect and weren't aware was lurking within you?

thinking of you xoxoxo

and happy 1st to monkey!

macondo mama said...

yeah, it's a pretty emotional time. a pretty obvious time for reflecting on such an emotional year. i say let loose and cry if you need to! let your family figure out how to react instead of worrying about whether it's normal. it's your birthday too - first year as a mom, it's a huge deal!! are you sad, or overcome with other emotions?

i don't think that's exactly what happened to me, though i did feel lots of overwhelming love and pride for the monkey and (knowing me) quite a bit of guilt for all the things i didn't do as well as i would have liked during his first year of life. but i think for me i'm starting to struggle with this big move i've made and what it all means for me and the kids and in general...

more on that coming up! thinking of you lots too.

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