Don’t Cry for Me, Orangina

argentina mapWhen I called my kids yesterday from Buenos Aires, I asked them if they remembered where I was for work this week. “ORANGINA!” they exclaimed in unison, before erupting in a fit of giggles.

I shouldn’t be surprised; this from the children who call Vermont, Gramont, and when quizzed on the state capitals, insist that the capital of New York is a place called Big Apple.

This is my first time in South America, and Buenos Aires is one of the most beautiful cities. It reminds me more of Madrid than say, Mexico (my lone pathetic South of the Border reference), the food is phenomenal, the people couldn’t be nicer, and the 80-degree weather and late sunsets in December are a joy. All of which I feel the need to downplay to Nate.

(Shh, don’t tell him.)

On the down side, it is a city in which it’s tough to be pale, over 25, and not in possession of a mini-skirt-friendly ass. Plus, the cautionary tales from our hosts here are striking mild fear into the hearts of even the most intrepid New Yorkers among us. Let’s just say they suggest we take cabs two blocks from our hotel to dinner. And you can’t actually hail one on the street, because there are imposter cabs that drive around, picking up unsuspecting tourists and…something something something. I kind of tuned out after that.

Traveling for business somewhere gorgeous and exotic and fabulous is always such a double-edged sword when you’re a parent. I can enjoy the fancy dinners and the crazy travel stories. (Remind me to fill you in on the lonely Argentinian Polo player who picked up our $400 dinner tab last night; the benefit of traveling with very cute single female coworkers.) I can enjoy the uninterrupted hotel room sleep. I can enjoy the grownup talk and sightseeing between meetings, the flea market on Sunday morning and the weeeee splurge on handbags at Prüne.

And God help me if I leave here before someone gets a video of me standing on a balcony with my arms outspread and hair pulled back, butchering the theme from Evita.

But while I’m traveling, I never feel entirely whole either. It’s like I’m here, but I’m missing three limbs: one that sleeps next to me at night, and two that call me in Orangina and describe the cotton candy at a friend’s birthday party over the phone in so much frenetic detail, I can’t understand a word they’re saying.

Thalia made me this picture before I left, “So I would remember her.” It seem to be working.

thalia + mommy forever





22 thoughts on “Don’t Cry for Me, Orangina”

  1. Oh, but that first touch. When those eyes catch yours and they run toward you and they smell so perfectly like they do! Oh, it’s just going to be perfect and more. Deeper for having gone through this and for the magic that returning always brings.

  2. When we were with the kids on Friday and Saturday they kept saying you were in Orangina. I took it as a joke. And it is funny. Of course Thalia says Orangina and sage says Owe-angina, which is really funny.

    Traveling is great. Make the most of it. Comes with the territory.

  3. Safe travels!

    And did Sage give you a triangular bum? Who says you don’t have a mini-skirt-friendly ass!

    1. Yeah we were trying to figure out what Thalia drew there. I’m not sure if it’s a bustle or my ass or some kind of angular goiter. Either way, I doubt it will look good in a 6″ skirt.

  4. OMG what a beautiful picture I can only imagine the Mommy guilt! I was in BA for two weeks when mini was two, it was really hard but I think now that she is older it would be harder. Two thoughts: 1) What are you buying ME at prune? And 2) I am wondering if you work with a friend/former colleague of mine who happens to be in BA this week as well. Quite the coincidence….

  5. Lucky you! Enjoy! I had to go to Argentina for a 10 day shoot last year and leave my little ones, and for the first time – I decided to just enjoy it. The stress and the schlepping could not trump the fact that I was on an all expenses paid trip to one of my favorite cities in the world. My client worried about her family the entire time. I wish she could have enjoyed it more. I missed my kids, but in my heart, I knew they were fine. I am sure yours are too! Bring them home some Alfajores, Dulce de Leche and some adorable kids clothes from Viva la Pepa, Grisino, Owoko , etc, etc, etc- and have a wonderful time!

  6. Be careful of the ambulances. And the cars that don’t stay in any sort of “lane.” And the way the sidewalk can trip you. Oh, and the elevators that are freaky-scary. But yeah, those polo players are pretty hot. I hung out a lot at those jockey clubs. Fun times!

  7. When I am on a trip w/out my kids, I often catch myself about to say out loud, ‘boys–look at this’……
    This is when my heart breaks, and I realize they are not there to see what I want to share with them.

    It seems very grand to travel solo, but it is so lonely w/out our fam.

  8. Oh, I so know that feeling. That was me in Chile last year.

    I love traveling for work but one time my daughter drew this picture of me going into a hotel and her sobbing outside say ‘MOMMY!’ It made me laugh it was so guilt-inducing. Like ‘kid, you sure know how to make your point!’

    Also, every penny I spent (not much–Chile is a bargain but still) I kept thinking about how I am eating this sumptuous food while my husband is home making tofu stir fry.

  9. Liz, It’s like you channel all of my feelings as a working mom. Please stop. But seriously – I too travel internationally for business. Usually a few times a year but a week at a time – which is a really long time when your children are young. I LOVE to travel (hubby does not) and love the “perks” of great food and wine and yes – heavenly uninterrupted hotel sleep (we co-sleep) where I don’t have a diaper butt in my face or a little hand nudging me at 2am telling me to “Get Up!” or “Wet. Diaper.”

    I take a framed picture of my son and always put it on my hotel nightstand and when it’s close to bed time, I’ll call my husband and he’ll put my son on the phone for a chat. As much as I miss my boys, I try to enjoy myself while I’m traveling. And when I return home, it’s heaven. I agree with Amanda, that that first sight and hug when you lay eyes on them after having been gone so long is one of the best feelings in the world.

    Safe travels and may you buy many awesome pairs of shoes and a fab handbag to go with.

  10. I’m a lurker and I love your insights. Many times it gives me food for thought that I’d like to comment, but then I try to craft what I have to say and the moment passes. So anyway, while I have this passing thought:

    I love to travel and often travel on business too. I miss the kids a lot but I remind myself that they wouldn’t have all this bonding time with their grandparents, which will be good memories for them. My parents on the other hand, just want us to stay away longer all the time. I never had grandparents so I know this is such a special time for both of them. That thought allows me to enjoy the adult perks of nice dinners and fab peaceful hotel rooms.

  11. When we’re gone, even though they miss us, our kids learn that we return. They develop the understanding that yes we go away but then we come back. In a way, that’s got to be very reassuring and important thing for them to experience and to understand. But even knowing that, doesn’t make it any easier; I’m too far away with more than a week to go before I see my kids, and aching a bit more than I’d like to admit.

    Bon voyage to you and enjoy Orangina…

  12. I am so jealous! New city, dangerous cabbies–all the makings of an awesome adventure! Have fun, but come back to your kids in one piece.

  13. Ooh- sounds like you get to travel to interesting places for work- I just stumbled across your blog and thought I’d say hello. This post was fun to read; your writing is wonderful. Enjoy the warm!

  14. I lived in Buenos Aires for a year, and met my husband there. Not only the polo players look good –there are a disproportinate number of hot men in Buenos Aires. And I hear you on the mini-skirts. Argentine women look like they paint their clothes on in the morning. Good thing they are so thin. I felt like such a cow the first six months there –then I got used to it. (Used to looking like a cow) When my husband came to the U.S. for the first time, he was surprised to see that by American standards I’m pretty small.

  15. Such a sweet picture from Thalia. My dad traveled for his job my entire life. He’s still my hero as I’m sure you are Thalia and Sage’s.

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