Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spending Time Together (temporarily) Without Baby Can Be Bittersweet

It’s true when they say absence makes the heart grow fonder. On the other hand, when you’re on a cruise, good times keep rolling like the waves in the ocean! After taking a vacation with my husband, I can honestly say I had the best time of my life; but I missed my baby girl during those seven days, too.

A few weeks ago, we took a cruise to celebrate my birthday and our wedding anniversary. My mom, who resides in Colorado, willingly offered to watch baby girl while my husband and I travelled across the waters. “Now, don’t you worry about a thing! We’ll be okay; you just go on and have some fun.”

That’s what my mom told me before we headed to Galveston.  It took us about five minutes to say goodbye to our little girl. We kept kissing on her, rubbing her cheeks against ours, and I remember she just had this stunned look of confusion on her face, as if to say, “I cannot believe you’re actually going somewhere to try and have fun without me!”

Driving down to Galveston, I think I called my mom at least two or three times, just to make sure all was well. My husband said, “We haven’t even made it to the ship and you’re already missing the baby!” I was about to set him straight, but I couldn’t deny it; he was right. I missed my Nandi. My mom chuckled each time I called and reassured me that she and the baby were okay and having fun.

I decided to focus on having fun and not think about the time I was missing with my daughter. But when I saw the magnificent cruise ship towering above me as we boarded, I was speechless. I looked at my husband and said, “I’m excited, and I think I’m going to have some fun!”  My husband, who has cruised before, told me that it was going to be hard not to have a good time.

We soon set sail, and the party began! People were smiling, dancing and singing along to the music blaring from the ship’s sound system. I found myself swaying to the beat and humming along, and I couldn’t wait to find out what was in store for us – on and off the ship.

My husband kept talking about how I would absolutely love the food on the cruise. I was skeptical, but I was game for the experience. We headed to our cabin, got comfortable and then went to our designated dining room. Let me just say that I was amazed with the customer service – any and everything I requested was not denied. I always received a, “Yes, madam. We can do that for you madam.” And I kid you not; it was like the food just melted in my mouth. I was in heaven. I was smiling and tapping my foot – having a good old time. Then my husband started laughing and said, “I see where Nandi gets her antics from when she eats! The giggling, head-shaking and foot-swinging comes from you!”

 Needless to say, I enjoyed myself thoroughly. We visited Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel – and I couldn’t even sleep the night before we made it to Montego Bay. I was like a little kid on Christmas morning. But one day, my husband and I forgot to request our morning wake-up call. I jumped up, saying, “Oh no! It’s 9 a.m. – we overslept!”  Then my husband chuckled and said, “Baby where do you need to go and what do you need to do?” I thought about it and realized he was right. I was miles away from land with people catering to my every whim. It couldn’t get better than that.

But then there were days (more like every day) that Nandi would be the topic of conversation. We would wonder what she was doing, if she was missing us and yes – how soon could we take her on a cruise with us. Several parents brought their infants on the cruise, and me being the overprotective, hand-carrying sanitizer mom that I am, I could not imagine taking Nandi on a cruise ship. I could just see her trying to lick the rails or dragging her sippy-cup, upside down, along the floor. We agreed her first cruise experience would be a long time coming.

On another note, like all good things, they definitely come to an end. During the last day of the cruise, the atmosphere was totally different from when we first boarded the ship. People looked sad, no upbeat music was playing and no one was dancing and having fun. Reality had set in and everyone knew they were going back to life as normal. Unlike everyone else, my husband and I were giddy with excitement. We were going home to see our baby girl. It had been more than a week and we missed her. At every stop, we made sure we bought her a souvenir; and we were looking forward to showering her with gifts.

Well, when our daughter saw us, she did not give me the welcome home smile I needed. She looked at both of us like we owed her money! Then, she turned her head away from us like we disgusted her. All I could do was laugh. My baby definitely has personality, and she’ll let you know when she doesn’t like something or someone. After about 30 minutes of looking at us skeptically, she finally showed me and her daddy some love.

So, in retrospect, I can say that my cruise was enjoyable and an experience I look forward to reliving. But if my daughter has any input in the matter, she’ll make sure it doesn’t happen any time soon, or my husband and I will feel the wrath of Nandi!

Chandra is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources and new Mom.

1 comment:

  1. what a delightful read this was!