All By Myself

As a 34-year-old woman, doing it alone shouldn’t faze me. But when my husband unexpectedly had to take a trip back to the States for work. His first since we moved here a year-and-a-half ago, I suddenly felt apprehension.

What if something happens.

His Spanish is way better than mine. And I’ve come to rely on that. At this point, we’ve weathered illness, injury and infection. A procedure on my son’s eye that required anesthesia. A five day hospital stay for myself. Among many other minor bumps and scrapes and coughs along the way.

And I imagine myself in the midst of an emergency. Fumbling words. Desperately trying to google translate. Waving my hands like I do when I don’t know quite how to express myself.

But it will be okay, I tell myself rather unconvincingly.

Because I’m still finding my way here.

To that place and time where everything feels easy. Like pulling up to Starbucks and getting a large iced coffee.

And maybe that’s the problem.

That I keep expecting here to feel like…there. And it never will be. Leaving me confused at far too many turns. Unsure of how to handle them. Because what happens and the manner in which it eventually ends up getting resolved doesn’t follow a standard course of action that makes much sense to me. But rather, through trial and error. Lots of phone calls. WhatsApp messages. Misunderstandings. Taking many more days longer than expected.

I’m still learning.

How to be in a world that doesn’t operate like the one I’m used to.

And it’s all the little things that add up to be the big things that make you feel like a complete goober. And rob you of that part of you that knows what the hell is going on at any given point. All these things that while true, will not necessarily equate to incompetence in case of emergency. Even though it feels like it.

Because you’re still a smart person.

No one is going to die on my watch, I say to myself. As I envision hundreds of potential death scenarios ranging from completely illogical to ridiculously insane. Things that would never happen in a million years, but in the mind of a mom, burn so bright and true.

Shhh…you say. And you go to your happy place. The one that says, this is a good thing. An opportunity to prove to yourself that it’s not actually as bad as you’ve built it up to be.

And it’s actually not. I can play my music as loud as I want. So far, so good.

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