It’s probably wrong on a fundamental level for me to be so insanely jealous of my own child that I kind of hate him a little bit.
Jacob, whose friends are clearly of a higher quality than my own, is currently touring Italy and France with a friend of his and her family. I’m not 100% sure how he rated this invitation, but for his sake, I’m glad he did. Travel is a good thing, especially when you are doing it the way they are doing it. They are staying in local villas and apartments, a kind of European Air BnB, so they aren’t getting the sanitized a Marriott-here-is-the-same-as-a-Marriott-there version of being tourists. The world is a big place, and I think it is great that while he is still in his younger, formative years that he gets to see some of it and the way other people live and think.
I can’t talk to him, because international cellular data might just cost more than the plane fare. He does, occasionally, have access to Wi-Fi, so he posts on Instagram and Snapchat, and I’ve communicated with him a little bit through those services.
I took a walk around the subdivision behind my house the other day. The day was sunny and the gardenias are blooming making everything smell sweet. I appreciated the lush green of the Georgia late spring and the peacefulness of my neighborhood.
Then I looked at Jacob’s Snapchat. He had gone for a walk in the Italian Alps and had a picnic there of fresh fruit and cheese and long loaves of Italian bread. Truly I expected Julie Andrews to pop out and spin around, it looked so much like the set of the Sound of Music. When I said this to him, he said, “Well, you could see Bavaria from where we were.”
Yup, I hate him just a little more now.
The homeowner’s association here would not stand for the crumbling, uneven stone walls and walkways on his Snapchat story. They would assess a fine for the tiny, flowering succulents daring to throw down roots and take hold between the bricks. There is nothing regular and deliberate about what he is seeing. The buildings look more like they grew where they were planted than built by urban planners. Or what passed for urban planners a thousand or more years ago.
This is a good perspective for a kid who thinks his cell phone is ancient technology because it is getting on to 18 months old.
The other day, my husband sat down on the sofa and watched a Formula One race he had on the DVR. He sighed. “One day, I want to go to Monaco.”
Because life is full of coincidences, or perhaps because there are no coincidences, not twenty minutes before this item was added to my husband’s bucket list, I got a text message from the Mom that was with Jacob in France. “We’ve decided to go to Monaco this afternoon.” I showed my husband the text message. I’m not sure the tear in his eye was from happiness from his ability to vicariously partake in his son’s experience (unlikely) or a white-hot-jealous rage (more likely) but it was fat and salty, nonetheless.
I’m afraid he’s going to come home and start sentences with, “When I was in Italy…” as he turns up his nose at the freezer burned chicken nuggets I’ve reheated for dinner because that’s all I could find between runs to the store. I hope that he will come home wanting to recreate the fresh pesto he had with his hand made gnocci to demonstrate to us how much better than the jarred stuff we’re all used to.
I can dream, right?
Until then, I can dream of how much he will grow and learn in two weeks, things I couldn’t possibly teach him from home. I miss my boy, I’m happy for him, and I love him.
But I still hate him a little.
If you enjoyed this and want to read more like it, visit Lori at her website, www.loriduffwrites.com , on Twitter, or on Facebook. For the Best of Lori, read her books, “Mismatched Shoes and Upside Down Pizza,” “The Armadillo, the Pickaxe, and the Laundry Basket,” and her latest release, the 2017 eLit Gold Medal winner for humor, “You Know I Love You Because You’re Still Alive.”