Archive for lisbon

14 months and moving on

after the twelve months i really thought things, surprising things, would slow down, i really imagined that between their mommy who started walking at 9 months, and their daddy that got up at 2 years-old, it’d take a while before walking was part of their lifes. but their 13th month was really just a space between crawling fast, to too fast and getting up and walking. 5 days before their 14th monthaverssary they got up and instead of the usual and already so common two-steps-fall, F got up and walked from their bedroom to the livingroom (mommy style)… which are about 15steps in their tiny feet… M watched that day still playing it safe and not really wanting to be less than perfect (daddy style)… the next morning M at around lunch time decided it was his turn to shine and did the same, circa 15steps from bedroom to livingroom and clapped in the end. i never thought it’d be so overwhelming, i mean i had seen so much already, between sleeping the whole night, eating everything (only complaining when the plate is empty… which always seems too soon for them), blabbing, crawling, i thought i had prepared myself to see them walk and think “good for you” without tears or ridiculous “awwwws”… but no. no way could i see those proud smiles, laughs, claps and not shed a tear or hold them so tight they’d want to not walk but run away. it’s impossible to watch all that effort for a few steps and not feel an imense joy, and a scary feeling for them. if you look at them while they focus on their feet and overcome obstacles… my kids not only walk but they prefer to step over higher things, they don’t go around the toys, they rather go through them, stepping over boxes and pillows, the harder it is it seems to make them happier and less scared of whatever crosses their way. and i just stare. i cheer, and i hold them at the end of the corridor when they decide that they want to try running and they can’t seem to find the brakes, but just before they fall into my arms laughing and pretending their running from eachother, i freeze time and see every muscle growing, moving and their hearts beating faster and happier. i see their eyes open up as if they just saw the world, i see every little movement as a conquest. there isn’t anything in this new phase that i can’t relate to right now.

as they beging to walk and discover how amazing it is to do things by themselves while still knowing we’re there right behind them, we, the adults, the parents are also about to embark on a whole new world.

i left lisbon in 2002, initially for only 10months… well, that ended up being 9years… he has also left his home in milan in 2005 and what was uncertain became 6years. we are about to go away, towards north this time, to the hemisphere we grew up in, to europe, to portugal… to lisbon. i am finally going home.

i do not know what to expect. yes, it’s the place i grew up in, the place i left but always wanted to go back to… but while doing this i had no idea i’d be who i am right now and so going back is not going back to who i was, it’s a whole new thing. i’m scared of everything that i have missed, or thought i couldn’t live without and did, scared of having made up an idea of what lisbon is, instead of what it became. i am scared of realizing i am part of a much larger world and not of just lisbon. you may think this is contradictory to what i always said, but when the moment finally arrives you notice that you might now know the place anymore. in 9 years i’ve gone back “home” always on holiday or maternity leave and what place doesn’t look, feel, taste new than when you see it on a 24h timelimit? i had no plans, i could visit all my friends in just one day, or divide them up between meals in a whole week. i could climb all the 7hills on one day (except when i was carrying twins obviously!) or decide not to and take the tram (also not when pregnant!). i could decide to explore new shops, new restaurants, new parks, new brunches, new views just because i had time… but what happens when that time in that same city you explored thouroughly is replaces by a 9 to 5 job? do you really see it anymore? do you really live it? in milan we did, in antwerp we did, in maputo we tried… but when you had such an admiration for a place and a almost mystical feeling towards it, it might just come crashing down… and that scares me… a lot. it’s like their tiny steps…

i’m taking it slow, though all tell me to hurry for there is an economic crisis in the world, as if i’ve been living away from it, as if i haven’t felt here any of it. i know it’s going to get very tough, but i need this, i want this and i will do what i can to make the transition easy. my babies will feel the change, i know, even if only through us or maybe because they won’t see their nanny anymore, gosh if i could she’d come with us, but they will have grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, my friends and their children to grow up with and maybe one day i’ll be able to explain how hard thought needed this decision was. leaving is not leaving, it’s starting… it’s trying harder to give them and us what makes up happy. we chose to have them to ourselves for this year, we decided things for them and we created a world for them with the four of us, it’s time to share, to let them see everyone else to let them know that we also are beginning… also taking our first steps towards something we can’t see but hope and imagine it as a happy place.


lisbon blue

it’s been a while, precisely two weeks since i have said anything on this little blog of mine. i arrived in lisbon on the 28th of march after a ten hour flight which included everything from a whole lot of turbulence, lots of  camomile teas brought by very concerned hostess’, too many movies to watch, a business class bed including a divine dinner with chocolate brownie and of course, lots of trust on the man holding the wheel… ah also the fact that i walked all over the plane to keep my feet from bursting helped!

landing was what it always is when i land in this city, it is overwhelming, there is a part of my heart that wants to just fly over it forever, watch it live, and gets excited with the amount of colors, and water around this magnificent view, another part of me wants the airplane to just fall and land and let me breath that pure air, feel the groung beneath me and enjoy that spring weather lisbon is so willing to give it’s visitors.

and i was right… i had been afraid of the temperature shock i’d go through from the 36 degrees in Maputo to the 15 degrees in Lisbon, and it did feel cold once my foot hit the runway, but i was wearing a tshrit and feeling it made me feel so alive, almost as if i had woken up from an outside body experience… and there is was, the lisbon blue, that color that makes this city so unique. there is definitely no blue in the world like the lisbon blue.

temperature had risen to 19 degrees and to me it felt like spring… there is no spring in Maputo, so you can imagine how happy i was to feel this breeze from my beautiful atlantic ocean.

that day my little babies experienced lots of new things through me. not only the temperature, but they felt so many different hands cuddling them, talking to them and bursting of love for them. they met the family and mommy’s best friends, they heard compliments to mommy’s adorable belly and they ate lots of mommy’s favorite foods, they saw the mountain of gifts i received for them and they slept on mommy’s “baby” bed… it was a very nice welcome home day.

…and from that moment on… there was no stopping the three of us, for that first week was full of gifts, lunches, dinners, movies, gossip nights, baby hipnosis with Diogo (who has been declared by me to be the most adorable and most beautiful baby boy i have ever seen…), news from belgium of another beautiful baby girl Annie (who i desperately want to hold), more news of babies to come, trips up to the mountains (where i have realized there is no point in going if temperatures are going to still be below zero… let’s stick to Lisbon for a while longer), another thousand hands cuddling my belly, doctor appointments, and gosh knows what else… we were swamped with amazing things happening around us, such a rollercoaster of feelings most of it so great… but Aldo is still in Maputo, so at the end of the day, when we settle down and hear music to fall asleep there is no denying it, we miss him, the three of us…

we talk everyday, through email or phone and i know he misses us too. but this is good. i needed this continuous adoration!! ;) who doesn’t really? after one year and a half everyone needs to be held tight, done things for and more importantly i am loving this heap of compliments i’ve been getting all the time. people are not just saying i look good, but that i look beautiful, not just that the belly is nice but that it suits me perfectly. my babies are loved. i am loved. and i can’t wait to see them.

he will arrive soon and until then i want to exeprience as much as i can handle and enjoy this energy that this city has given to me after so long of feeling tired. i want my babies to heard its sounds, see its colors and feel its movements through me. this energy comes from the love i have for this place. it’s that powerful, this lisbon blue.

in my pocket

there’s a passport, and on that passport there’s a VISA allowing me to fly to Maputo and stay there!

this is the last document i had to take care of, after: the photos, copy of Identity Card, copy of Passport, Criminal Record (whih was returned to me… apparently it’s not interesting enough!!!), University Certificate, Contract with the office in Maputo, Declaration of Authorization of Work Ministry in Maputo, flight reservation… and lots of talk… this was it. the VISA is in my hand and there is no turning back now.

well, maybe there is, i can still PANIC, but me? panic??  noooooooo, of course not! jeez if you just knew how much it’s on my mind now you’d wonder why not! …i feel it, i feel it coming… maybe the 10hour flight will help me SCREAM!!!

the next step is really just taking care of little things, but things that take up space in the 40kg i’m allowed to take with me: medicine, mosquito repelent (or any sort of animal repelent), new tenis shoes, new backpack, new socks, a selection of RITUALS creams, shampoo, conditioner, soap, presents to take to the wonderful couple who offered us a place to stay while we search for something of our own, pay taxes, doctor appointment, ear cleaning (suggestion of my father), new eyeglasses, last visits and last food craves.

we are 12 days away from the big day, but i don’t feel much as a goodbye, i feel it definitely more as a “see ya soon” but i think it has to do with the fact that i really miss working and having something definite to do. i need a job. or more habits in my life. i’ve had a great time here in lisbon by my self because everyday, breakfast and 5o’clock tea is always in a different place (found great new places since!), and the days are always a surprise… i rarely stay home and i’m falling in love with this city everyday and more with each day.

…call me wierd, but i can’t concentrate on lisbon or maputo, almost like a rivalty. can’t think about maputo because lisbon, being the jeaulous woman that she is she’ll get upset… but if i think of lisbon i feel i’m not giving my new home a chance. enfin..

all i know for certain is that there’s a VISA in my pocket…