FaceTime from Vienna

It’s Sunday evening, and I’ve just had another FaceTime call from my Best Beloved. He’s in Vienna visiting an old friend. Today, he went on a hike in the hills near the city before taking in a recital by a Bulgarian pianist (Mozart, Bach, Liszt, Chopin). Now he’s about to have schnitzel for dinner.

I wave at everyone else in the background and tilt the phone so that it shows Ra-Ra. She smiles broadly the moment she sees her dad’s face on the screen.

There was a time, once, when I might have been a tiny bit jealous of the day my husband had. Mine, in comparison,¬† was desperately dull. Apart from some painting, writing and dog wrangling, I’ve spent the day either feeding RaRa or snoozing. Yesterday my husband was in Bratislava for the day; tomorrow he’ll be back in London before flying back home. In contrast, the highlight of my weekend was schlepping to Northriding to finally pick up the curtains I ordered back in January.

Once upon a time, international travel was my major ambition in life, but it’s so impractical now. Besides the challenges of getting leave and traveling with a baby, there’s the small matter of school fees. I’ve already started saving, and every rand I spend on airfare and foreign currency is a rand I can’t spend on RaRa’s education. Last year’s trip to Japan was an experience of a lifetime as well as a financial disaster, and I will need to be much more prudent in future.

Perhaps my feelings about will change¬† as RaRa grows older. Perhaps the wanderlust will set in again and I’ll feel a gnawing sense of loss and regret at all the places I’ve wanted to experience, and haven’t.

In the mean time, that old, pre-baby version of myself has vanished. I wonder if she will ever return.