Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Homesick 3

What is it about being pregnant and being away from your parents and in-laws and extended family that makes you homesick?

There are a lot of plusses when it comes to living an "independent" life with just your husband in a land far away from home. But this isn't about the benefits of such a lifestyle. It is more about how you begin to appreciate family because you are so far away from them. Family, after all, is your bedrock, your support system. As they say, many hands make light work, and definitely more fun. Getting the dishes done by your maid isn't as enriching or as satisfying as doing the same task with your sister/mom/sisters-in-law with a dose of family-jokes and anecdotes sprinkled in between. Mundane housework remains mundane when you are the one doing it with a husband glued to the idiot box or the phone for company! Hah! Now that's when I start missing the rest of the family.

The other day, I was dicing potatoes for stir-fry when I remembered how my grandmother used to do it every morning and I remembered her instructions crystal clear as though she were right in front of me. And of course, mom used to do it differently. All in a flash, memories of the stories they had to tell about when they were young brides, when they were pregnant would come flooding. The stories had prepped me to some extent, but I was on my own. Scary...and that's a different level of homesickness altogether. When you know your elder female kin cannot be with you then and there because they are at different places, different planes of existence...

Some days get tiring and you just want to take it easy and leave making dinner to the husband. But predictably, like my mom used to fret, I would invariably worry that he'd not make dinner the way I do. Illogical totally, I know...I mean there could be a dozen ways to skin a potato and your way isn't the only way of doing things right, but that thought comes only as an after-thought. Sometimes, it's such an effort even to relax! Then I start missing the rest of the family again.

Of course, there are those days when business calls late and your husband's home barely in time for dinner. The TV's on for some background noise, the mobile phone is put to work--connecting you to friends and family while your tasks are getting done, you try reading or browsing or social networking to fill in the time, and then you flop down on the couch and realize what an effort it is to get up even for a drink of water! You waddle all over the apartment, because that's the only way to keep your balance as your weight and your belly-girth increases. The bell rings and with your limited mobility, you waddle to open the door again, taking a long breath (you are so out of breath all the time!)! Hurrah! The husband's home! I wish my mother in law was around--at least, she'd answer the doorbell and chat with me before he arrives. Boredom and homesickness all rolled into one...and I live to miss home, yet again...