There is nothing like a new baby to usher in Spring and expand the family tree. Last night, Mrs. Nato gave birth to her third son, at home, sin painkillers. Yet unnamed, Baby Nato is healthy and so far, well-behaved. We like that. I have been pondering the home birth scene – I do not have all the details – but have to say that my mind cannot even really grasp the concept. I enjoyed the service provided by the Mexican “nurses” (and I use the term loosely) in white uniforms and starched caps far too much. So what if they gave my kid to the wrong mother? Mr. Understanding, while a real champ, does not, in general, come with such alacrity when I ring my bell. What does this say about Mr. Nato? He may work for the US government but he takes his marching orders from She of the Wonder Womb. I don’t know where to begin congratulating her!
Other things are beginning to bud here in Spain. The almond and cherry trees were beginning to pop on the way home from Barcelona two weeks ago, showing up their arborescent siblings in Madrid by a good several weeks. Hopefully, they were not killed off by the snow which threw Barcelona into chaos a few days after our departure. Punxatawney Phil is living up to his word of an additional six weeks of winter. The photo is of the trees beginning to bloom from the car, traveling at 120 km. per hour.
Which brings me to my St. Paddy’s Day conversation with Mr. Understanding. On the way home, I asked him if he thought I was happy. He said “no”. “Why do you think that?” I asked. He did not provide any solid answers but he did make me laugh very hard. He said something so funny I cannot even blog about it, it is so bookworthy. But since Flaky Friend voiced the same concern a few weeks ago, I thought I’d address it head on.
NO, I AM NOT UNHAPPY. Believe me, I know the difference. I was very unhappy when a rogue cyst ruled my reproductive system for a good six months in China. Apparently, that misery I managed to cover up. I was very unhappy during the Spanish visa/shingles summer, a misery I shared with all my readers. Super bu hao/muy mal. I do think I am just a tad cranky, mainly because I cannot seem to escape the following:
foul odors emanating from my house due to poor construction
pushy people who park poorly
leftover moving messes that I seem incapable of cleaning up
bad weather and,
pathetic health care – last week’s run in with a doctor was unparalleled
Moving to Spain, I felt sure I would at least have mild winters. I felt sure I had chosen the right house. I did not foresee the parking issue (on Friday, Mrs. Nato witnessed me having to climb into my car from the passenger side – photo posted above. What you can’t see is the note I left the parker. I refrained from using the word pendejo). Then again, every country has it’s idiosyncracies. For example, I am not missing the men peeing by the side of the road at regular intervals, the incessant hawking up of lungs, or the squatty potties which prevailed in China. But let’s just say I am not embracing the above list of crap. In America, to be fair, there would just be a different list. Bottom line: maybe my coping skills are frayed and, and here is my main point, Spring needs to bring it on and bring it on strong. Like a labor pain.
After all, it is not called “the winter of our discontent” for nothing. Shakespeare could have said any of the other seasons but he did not. Simply said, Winter sucks. I escaped at least five of them by living in Brazil, which, it turns out, did me no favors in the long run, my intolerance for inclement weather being, well, intolerable. Aren’t you tired of gray skies? Drizzle? Your sweaters and neck scarves? Do you hate your jeans?
In the meantime I will have to content myself with the prospect of Semana Santa in Southern Spain and a new baby on the block. There’s also a trip to Rome to meet up with Maria-the-Dentist, a jaunt to la belle France to visit Madame Malboeuf, and entertaining Bea Long y familia in Madrid in June to keep me going. Mr. Understanding and I are spending lots of quality time together, sharing the home office once a week. Who’s unhappy? Not me! I swear. The bloom is not off this Spanish rose just yet – I’m just beginning to branch out.