We leave tomorrow. Our big trip. Just me and my boy. A mum and bub sabbatical.
I’ve been planning it for months. Counting down the weeks, then days. It’s tomorrow.
This will be my boy’s first time in South-East Asia. I want to take him to the Old Quarter in Hanoi. It’s bustling. Busy, crowded, chaotic, beautiful. I want to show him the meaning of ‘now’. Being in the moment.
I want him to see it, smell it, feel it. There’s a whole world of difference out there. He needs to get to know it. And not through a screen.
Culture shock. Do seven year olds get it? Sensory overload – I’ve allowed for that. Some quiet afternoons around the hotel pool. Chill time. Recovery.
It’s my first big trip overseas with him. I haven’t travelled much on my own. It’s always been with a friend, a partner or my family. This is big. For both of us.
I’m a little bit scared. The anxiety sets in sometimes at 3am. We have to get across the road in Hanoi. What if one of us gets sick? What if I lose him?
Then I remember. I raised him on my own since he was seven months old. We crossed roads, we got through both of us throwing up at the same time, I haven’t lost him. I can do this. I always have.
It’s part of our journey.
I’ve been to Vietnam before. Eight years or so ago. I’d just been through another failed IVF round. The trip was my respite. I had one embryo left in the freezer, the others hadn’t worked.
I swam in the deep, green, tranquil water of Halong Bay. I felt vulnerable. I silently cried, letting go of my dream of having a child. I was tired. I couldn’t keep doing the hormones, they were sending me insane. It wasn’t meant to be. I felt so much pain. Sadness. I grieved. I accepted.
Tomorrow I’m going back with my boy.