Monday, September 26, 2011

A Transatlantic Telephone Conversation

I’m back, fat but tan, from Italy. 
It’s funny how you can be gone for a short time and have it feel like a lifetime.  This is the first time I’ve left my children behind for more than a week.  If you’re a mother, you can imagine all the anxiety that produced.  If you’re not, feel free to insert large eye rolls at the next few sentences.  Here is the short list of things I worried about before leaving and while away.
1.        Our plane would crash and my children would be orphaned;
2.       The children would die a violent death while out of my sight (drowning, fire, being hit by a car, and earthquake were all worrisome);
3.       Notes would come home from school requiring a parent signature and, in my absence, my children would be left out of a field trip, the book fair or something equally lifechanging.  Their omission from said activity would scar them for life;
4.       Child #2 would have temper tantrums over the fit and feel of his shoes and socks that would leave my mother exhausted and befuddled; and
5.       Bones would be broken and I wouldn’t be there to hold Child #1 or #2’s hand at the hospital
It’s, admittedly, the list of a crazy person.  Only one item on this list came true.  Regular readers of my blog, familiar with the peculiarities of Child #2, will have no problem guessing which item it was.
By miracle of international cell phone service I was able to talk to the children while sitting outside looking over the waters of beautiful Lake Garda and in a sunny outdoor café in Venice.  Our conversations went a little like this.
Child #2:  Mommy, I miss you.  Did you get me anything yet?
Me:  I miss you too, and of course we did.
Child #2:  What is it?
Me:  You’ll have to wait until we get home. 
After that the conversation devolved into a description of what his Star Wars lego minifigures were doing which resulted in me asking to talk to his sister.  Those conversations, like everything about Child #1 were a bit more complicated.
Child #1:  Are you and daddy just looking at things or are you talking to each other?
Me:  We’re looking at things and talking.
Child #1:  Do you like talking better when it’s just the two of you?  What kinds of things do you talk about?  Do you think I would be interested in your conversations?
Me:  Umm,
Child #1, not waiting for an answer:  Are you talking about Italy or are you talking about us?
Me with Giulletta
Me (switching gears in a time-tested parenting tactic):  I saw Juliet’s house today, from Romeo and Juliet.
Child #1:  Is that like Gnomeo and Juliet?
Me:  Sort of, except Romeo and Juliet was written by a man named William Shakespeare (I pause to note my husband tapping his watch and rubbing his fingers together in the universal gesture of husbands everywhere meaning ‘get off the phone this is costing me $1.40 a minute’).  Sweetie, could you put Grandma on the phone?
Child #1:  Do you like to talk to Grandma more than you like to talk to me?
Me:  No but your father just reminded me this phone call is expensive.
Child #1: What?
Me:  Expensive!!
Child #1:  Oh, how much does it cost?
Me: Child #1!  Seriously!!  Put Grandma on the phone!!! 
There you have it fellow bloggers and readers.  A summary of my anxieties and worries about leaving my kids behind for a week and an (unintentional) summary of my relationship with the two little people in my life.
See you soon…oh, and it’s good to be back!


Ronald L. Smith said...

This is very funny. Not a parent myself but I can understand. Glad you had a good trip. Nice blog you have!

SBJones said...

AT&T with international roaming for a whopping $2 a month. That way you can afford to go again lol!

Sounds like you had a great time.

humanmama said...

Oh, wonderful. I love to hear that others have the same children. And so jealous about Venice!!

Christine Murray said...

Lol! Hope you had a great time :)

Sarah Tokeley said...

I don't think it's the list of a crazy person. It makes perfect sense to me (yeah, I've got two!) Glad you had fun :-)

Johanna Garth said...

Thanks Ron and thanks for following!

SB, I am not going to tell my husband about $2 international roaming UNTIL we go away again!

Humanmama, funny how reading about other people's kids puts it all into perspective.

Thanks Christine!

Sarah, you've got two so I'm sure you totally get it!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Hope that you enjoyed yourself despite the self-induced stress!

Jo Schaffer said...

Haha-- cute!

What a great trip! Italy is great! Lucky girl! (= Time for me to go back... but I'm probably going to go to India next year... too many destinations-- not enough time/ money. Boo!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So, how much did the phone call cost?

Johanna Garth said...

Thanks Diane, we did!

Jo, India doesn't sound so bad...I agree too many destinations not enough time or money

Alex, not sure yet...that one might have to be discretely paid while hubbie's at work.

The Bookworm said...

awww...I know what you mean. I think being a mommy means always worrying for the rest of your life! lol
Italy must have been amazing! Welcome back.