Babymoon in Barcelona – A Letter to My Son (Part 2)

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Dear Charlie,

After visiting the Sagrada Familia we went to the Spanish equivalent of Milestones. We were supposed to go to a local tapas bar recommended by our tour guide. But after walking around all morning, your mama was hungry and tired and not ready to face the huge crowd in front of the tapas place. Your dad got a little panicky when he saw how busy the restaurant was, he knows that hungry mama equals cranky mama – and even more so now that I’m sharing every meal with you, little man! Sometimes your dad is too nice to me and lets me be cranky, I usually say sorry later…after I’ve had something to eat.

Thankfully around the corner we found 5 Jotas, a chain restaurant full of Barcelonians having late lunch, or lunch as they call it, since eating at 3pm is quite normal in Spain. We had more spectacular Catalan food and laughed at our good luck in finding yummy places to eat. And since you are growing in my belly, I have to pee every half an hour: internal organ real estate is currently at a premium inside me! I liked standing up and walking through the busy restaurant though, because people would look at my round belly and smile at me, so kindly and encouragingly. Even strangers are excited that you are coming into this world. Even strangers enjoy the thought of new life and a smiling mama to be.

I’m gaining weight, my back is a little sore, none of my old clothes fit, and my ribs have expanded forever (strange, I know). But for all these changes, I have never felt more beautiful. People look at me like I’m special because I’m carrying you around. Your dad looks at me like I’m beautiful, even more than he usually does…which is a lot…you’ll see…it might gross you out sometimes!

After lunch we went back to the apartment and napped. I hope one day you enjoy family naps. When I was in grade 12, your abuelitos, Tata Emily and I would go to church twice a day on Sundays – two services in the morning and one in the evening. We loved our church in South Africa so it was really fun, not some boring family obligation. But in between services we were so tired that we would all fall asleep, all of us in your abuelitos room, on their bed, their couch and the floor. I loved those days.

We were supposed to head out in the late afternoon to catch another tour. But we missed it. And now Charlie, I have to tell you something not so pretty. Your dad and I had a fight.

This will happen, sometimes you’ll notice it and other times you won’t. Sometimes we’ll remember to speak kindly to each other even though we’re arguing. And sadly sometimes we won’t, and we might say things we will say sorry for later. Sometimes our fights will be about really really stupid things, other times they will be about huge, important, life changing things.

And I want you to know that it’s ok. It’s ok for mom and dad to argue and disagree. We always work it out eventually, we always say sorry when we’ve said or done something wrong or hurt the other person’s feelings. And most of all, the only reason we fight is because we know it’s safe. In the end it will always be ok. Even if the middle part is rough going for awhile. And we will probably fight and argue with you too – when you are little and want to eat too much candy, when you are older and want more freedom, when you are a young man and we give you unsolicited advice.

I hope that we can teach you to fight fairly, to speak kindly and to listen, even in an argument. I know we can only teach you these things by doing them ourselves. And we are trying baby, we are learning.

But the night ended beautifully. We walked until the unhappy silence broke and we poured out our emotions and hurts. We kept talking on the subway ride home, had another nap with our problems unresolved. We woke up, talked more, started to make up. We made dinner, edging out the hurt feelings with plantain, fried eggs and chopping side by side in the kitchen. We got dressed up to go out together, starting to smile because we really like the sight of each other. And by the time we made it to the flamenco show, we had worked all the kinks out.

I’ll tell you all about the flamenco show tomorrow. The secret doorway into a tiny palace where the stage was, and the music that made you dance in my belly. I’ll also tell you about being in love tomorrow.



Read Part 1 and Part 3 of the letter. 

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