Friday, February 5, 2010

Worldmomma is going to Africa

I found out just a few days ago that I will likely be going soon (as in two weeks from now) to Africa for work. It’s a two-country trip. One country is kind of freaking me out. In my research, the words horrible, prostitutes, corruption, shakedowns, credit card fraud and cockroaches keep coming up. The other is a country I’ve wanted to go to for some time. I hope I may be able to take a couple of days vacation while there to see some sights.

I’m really excited to be going. I’ve been craving an international trip for a while and I was starting to despair as our budget doesn’t really allow such trips these days. Thinking back on the time since River was born, I’ve been overseas four times (to Mexico, Panama/Costa Rica, Russia and Iceland). That’s an average of once every six months, which is know is more than the average mom of a two year old. But I think I have a higher than average need for adventure and I’m very internationally oriented. Also, in the past ten years, I’ve been overseas on average much more than once every six months.

So the craving for the different culture, scenery and lifestyle set in a while ago and I can’t wait. Most of all, I’m looking forward to the sounds and the smells. I love the smell of any new place, but particularly the smell of Africa. And I love the combination of sounds, which comes across to me as exotic, but is the sum of the life and activity that reverberates in that place.

Of course, it won’t be easy to be away from River for two plus weeks. Mark is being incredibly supportive. He’s practically pushing me out the door and telling me to go for as long as I need. I think he recognizes how important it is to my wellbeing.

I hope we can use skype this time and that the ability to see each other live will help bridge the distance. I know I’ll appreciate the evenings in a comfortable hotel bed alone. I know I’ll appreciate being able to listen to people as they tell me about the place they live, and not being interrupted by having to chase after a toddler. But I also know that I’ll miss him deeply. I’ll long for his voice, his hugs and his bright, loving eyes. I also fear something happening to me and leaving him in the world without his biggest fan.

Tonight, when I got home from work, I ran upstairs to change, planning to take River with me to the gym. He loves going there, but at the moment, he wasn’t thinking about the giant drawer of cars in the gym childcare room. He wanted to show me two of his little cars. When I ran upstairs instead of taking the time to look, he stood at the base of the stairs and started to cry.

I felt bad and came back down. I wasn’t giving him the attention he deserved. Mark tried to get his attention, but he pushed him away. He was only interested in showing mom.

“He loves you too much,” Mark said. I know that and I’m so very grateful.

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