Vacation sans baby? Hardly worth it.
I haven’t taken a vacation since I got pregnant with Bun Bun. Yeah, I did a quick jaunt to New Mexico, but that was a Familyobligationpalooza, not a vacation. And I find that things have changed. I guess that’s not surprising. My whole life has changed. Still, it was an interesting study in contrast.
I have years worth of pictures of myself in various lovely places, but when I look at them, all I think about is where I was in my journey to parenthood. Oh, there I am feeling surprisingly depressed because our first real attempt at conception had failed! Hey, look at me standing on that beach not knowing that I was pregnant and about to not be, and to not be for a long time. Oh, there I am eating that interesting thing and feeling absolutely shitty about my barrenness!
So I guess to me, vacations come with a veneer of depression, because for a long time I had to exert energy to attempt to enjoy myself, and all the habits of averting one’s gaze from pregnant bellies and babies and children take more strength in unfamiliar surroundings, when you never know if you’re about to stumble into a nest of mothers with strollers. Vacations are about being sad, right?
This one was not about being sad. It was about feeling vaguely angsty all the time because I was separated from my child. And I did not avert my gaze from indices of parenthood, I found myself starting at every baby, seeking them out in a crowd. BABY! I’d say. And Mr. Bunny and I would gaze at the baby. What a change. And yes, I’m in the magical position of not needing to envy anyone, what with my many, many babies. Which is also bizarre.
I was also surprised to find that I no longer miss living in Chicago. I mean, I’m not an urban person and have never dreamt of living in the midst of a city, but on previous trips back there, I’d always had a wistful feeling. Oh, it’s so vibrant! The people, the noise, the movement, the sheer size! Oh, my lame little city is so lame and little! This time, I was like, Eh. Even if I did live here, I’d mainly hang out in my house and play with my baby. I wonder what my baby is doing right now…
I’m glad I did it, because it’s useful to know I can survive, and I had a distracted species of fun. But I wonder if, looking back at the couple of photos we took, I’ll see that angst in my eyes, and primarily remember how much I missed my child.