During our last day in Germany we went to my cousin's wedding. It happened to work out that the date was during my visit and I was so excited to see the girl, that I grew up with and was my best friend for so many years, the girl, who said she was never going to get married, tie the knot.
It was a courthouse wedding and there was no celebration after, because they had the reception planned for a couple of weeks after the wedding, but it was great nonetheless and she was so surprised that I showed up, because I had already said my goodbye's a few days earlier and she had no idea I was coming. And I failed to take any pictures because I was too busy with a certain three year old who kept asking me every 15 seconds if we could go home now and didn't want to leave my arms.
That night, I took him to one of my favorite spots in the village, the same spot where I had taken his pictures two years earlier.
I have so many memories from this place!
Love the pouty lip
There might have been a lollipop as an incentive in the car, if he would let me take his pictures...and he really worked it for that lollipop, I love all of these!
My mom showed him how to throw stones in the river and he loved it and didn't want to leave.
We met up at my aunt's house afterwards and my uncle rode the lawn mower with him, which was probably one of his favorite things ever!
See, there's that well earned lollipop...ha!
While I love visiting my hometown, seeing my friends and family and eating good german food, I always leave more exhausted than before.
Like I mentioned before, Fox never went to sleep before 11pm or midnight, which is when I had to start my "work day" for Etsy.
I know a lot of moms do this single parent thing all the time, maybe because their other half travels a lot for work or maybe because they are a single parent, but dang, this shit is hard. So if you are one of those supermoms, I applaud you. It would've been much easier single parenting him at home, in his regular environment, but this right here...it was hard at times.
My friends would see our pictures on Facebook and comment to me about how fun this trip looked and how much fun all of us had, but what they (and you) didn't see was all the behind the scenes stuff.
The hours we spent laying in bed where he would ask me 136,983 questions about the world so he wouldn't have to go to sleep, the tantrums when I wouldn't buy him another toy, the clinginess because he was so shy and uncomfortable that didn't allow me to leave him at times, the struggle with food, because he is so picky and has so many allergies that made it so hard to feed him in Germany, where everything tasted and looked different to him and he wasn't going to try anything new.
He also was sick for about seven days (just a bad cough and general cold) and this Mama was tired.
Our travel back to Paris was the worst though. It was the one and only time I was on the edge of crying because I was so overwhelmed. If you have ever been to the Paris airport, you'll know what I mean. If you've never been, you should avoid at all costs going. It is so big and so spread out, not to mention confusing! So here I was, with a kid in the stroller, thinking I just rocked our flight and everything that came with it (driving to the airport, checking in, security...you know what I'm talking about)...until I have to pick up the rest of our luggage. In fact, including hand luggage, we had seven freaking pieces of luggage, four of them suitcases. Katie kept scolding me for bringing so much crap, but in reality, one of the suitcases was filled with his special food, we had to bring wedding attire, summer clothes, winter clothes, jackets, toys, you name it. And granted, I always like to bring back some of my old stuff when I go to Germany, because I still have about a million boxes there.
I was ok pushing the luggage cart with one hand and the stroller with my other hand (although I was drenched in sweat doing so), when all of the sudden, I was told to get on a bus and I had to leave my luggage cart behind. So here I was, with a crap load of shit and a kid who was begging for snacks and they had just unloaded me at a terminal and I had no idea where to go. We went up and down elevators, across the halls and all of that in a snail like pace, because I wasn't able to push all of our stuff without luggage cart. I almost lost it. I was ready to ditch all of the stuff and just take my kid and run. Eventually, some very nice people who saw my break down coming, hunted down another luggage cart for me and I wanted to hug them because they had no idea how much they had helped me.
Traveling to Germany is so much different than it used to be. I have german friends in Phoenix who love going back every year for 4-6 weeks and I'm just sitting here thinking "You are crazy!". To be completely honest, after ten years, Germany doesn't feel like my home anymore. I love all the memories I made there and I love seeing all the places and people again, but it's not my home and it never will be my home again. I can't imagine living there. It's a strange feeling to be back, especially when you realize that the people you once knew so well, you don't know at all anymore. You feel like a stranger in your own "home" if that makes any sense.
And traveling there involves a lot. Not just a lot of costs, now that we have to pay for Fox's seat too, but also the costs of unpaid vacation time like I had to use for this trip. It takes two days just to travel there and although Fox is an excellent traveler, it's not like you can take a nap or read a book on the flight like you probably do when you don't have kids. It's stressful and tiring to me.
I'd rather pay for my mom to come visit us every year instead.
So there you have it. We had a good time, but it was hard work. I'm not sure when I will be ready to do this again, maybe next time Katie will have to suck it up and come with us! :)