I am back. Sort of. My body is mostly back, but my mind is still sitting on the porch in Velence, watching Sam kiss and then rip off blooms in the flower bed. Or eat the dirt dug up by moles.
Ah, the joys of country life!
Vacations are really just cruel. For two weeks you think that the world is all about sleeping a bit later, eating lots of food that’s bad for you, sitting on the porch, finding snails, eating berries off the bush. Everything in your regular life looks just a bit brighter too from the safe distance of travel. Cruel, cruel, cruel. Life is usually pretty much as you left it.
Our two weeks in Hungary were exhausting. Lovely, funny, delicious, but still exhausting. Sam had a blast I think — he had a huge garden to call his own, with all of its trees, fruit, bugs, and dirt. He made full use of it all. He learned to walk up and down stairs, developed a taste for the melted sugar on the bottom of espresso cups, made his great-grandma laugh until she had to sit down, got bitten by a dog, swam in the Balaton, and learned a bunch of new words.
This year’s trip definitely — and thankfully — lacked the emotionally draining aspects of last year’s trip. Whew. But whether I like it or not, trips to Hungary always force me to think about life as it is and as it should be, or could be, or might have been. I think about Sam’s life now mostly, not so much mine, although the two are not easy to separate. Anyway, what am I trying to say? Yes, life would be different if we lived in Hungary and Sam could roam a large yard by a lake every day and go on exciting adventures around Hungary and Europe every week. Is this going happen? No. Does this mean that life here is somehow less valuable? Of course not. But I hope that this trip will force me to think about ways to get out of the rut. I told Drew the other night that at times I get nauseated by the mundane, everyday conversations needed to keep our lives running on the surface: What time are you getting home from work? What are we eating for dinner? Are you making a bottle for the baby? Did the baby poop today? How much money is in checking? Are you picking up groceries? Etc, etc… Ugh. Any way to keep things going without having to talk about them?
But back to Hungary… Things didn’t seem too different from last year. The mood on the street was maybe gloomier and people’s outlook on the future was definitely pretty negative when it comes to the political situation and the economy. These things I do not miss. Traffic was lighter than usual due to high gas prices, and prices in general were really high. That did not stop me from doing some serious shopping: books and CDs for Sam, shoes for Sam and me, and food. Oh, and pens.
Sam changed a lot again during these two weeks. He became a lot more communicative — he doesn’t just babble to himself, but definitely wants to talk to us about specific things he wants or doesn’t want. He picked up a lot of new words and developed a serious obsession with cookies. We are working on that now. I don’t know how else to put it, but he has become a boy. He’s not a baby or a toddler, but a real, mischievous, funny little boy.
So, it was a great trip. I hope we will get to do it again next year — to see Grandma, to hang out on Budapest playgrounds, to swim in the Balaton… All of it.