As I woke up from the blinding light of the sun peaking through the window blinds I suddenly realized that I don’t have to get up early to fix breakfast for the boys. Instead I could hear just right next door the banging of cutlery as my mother-in-law set the table for our first meal of the day. The morning coffee sizzles in my nostrils as I head myself to shower. Sasha was still in shock trying to decipher the changes in the surroundings murming to his dad questions he demanded answers. Mama picked him up from the bed as he fight for freedom not knowing the stranger who sounds familiar. A few moments passed and he by some sort of instinct finally met the people Tato was talking endlessly in Skype. I would never forget the light in their eyes when they finally hold Sasha by the flesh. Looking and observing each and every move he makes which brought me back to the that first time me and my husband held him in our arms. It’s pure joy nobody can contain.
By late afternoon we started the feast. Mama started preparing three days back and our appetites were ready for the fight. I left my fitness program in Dubai tucked away with my yoga mat. Wine started to overflow and meat and endless meat products. Salad of different kinds and fresh vegetables harvested from old grannies gardens. I could still hear the crisp sound of the yellow bell pepper as I bite them through with much delight. Friends and family started pouring in and Sasha bewildered by the sound of kids coming from the front door. Two toddler boys came to join us together with their mom and grandma. The table was covered with sumptuous Ukrainian delicacies with loved-ones consuming in-between stories of motherhood and childhood memories. I was halfway drunk when the berry upside-down cake arrived. We chatted away ’til midnight while Sasha kept battling the time to snooze. We were incredibly tired and happy when we went to bed.
It was nice to be on vacation. To take a breather from the daily grind. To forget about washing dishes and keeping the house clean and finally having people who really cares to look after your child. For the longest time we craved some alone time as a couple. To be surrounded by adults and have a good time not worrying if the child is sleeping or not. To finally meet first- time mothers like me who really understand the difficulties and the adjustments and the happiness of this new chapter. I often feels guilty wallowing in self-pity whenever I feel far from being a perfect mother. I finally accepted the fact that having a clean and Pinterest-perfect looking apartment is far from reality if you have a child and that I don’t need to punish myself for that. I found love and admiration in my husband’s eyes as I understand their culture and family-life in a much deeper and meaningful way. I was deeply moved by the love of his family and friends like I grew up with them too. The language barrier was a piece of cake. Slowly but surely I started learning Ukranian by heart not by exact words but by its sound and expression of each conversation. The giggles and pitch perfect melodies creating a pattern more easily understood.
It’s only been a few days of recalling how we spend our time there. I was pampered by the husband from head to toe. I had my hair done, nails done and everything I could possibly asked for— granted, if only my teeth weren’t in that really bad shape I could have eaten more. Haha. So much for root canals whist on holiday! I couldn’t feel my face half of the vacation. More on that on next posts.