Mary vs Russia

When she was a child my daughter Maryrose wanted to go to Russia more than anything. When asked why, she said, “Because there are castles with spires and Anastasia was born there. Also, there’s a couple perfectly preserved dead guys in glass cases. Very cool.” So Russia went from being #5 on the list of places I wanted to visit, to #1. Funny how we feel our children’s desires more acutely than our own.  At the time I didn’t know if I would ever be able to afford to take her there, so I bought a music box just like the one Anastasia had in the cartoon. It was a gift for her yes, but it was also a reminder for me of my goal to take her there someday.  But children grown up, and in a few short years,  Anastasia wasn’t the princess who lived after all. So by the time I could afford to take my children anywhere, Ireland was at the top of her list. So to Ireland we went. When I was a child and the center of my own universe, Africa was the place I dreamed of. I wanted to see giraffes, ride elephants and dance with the Swahili. Acutely aware of my mortality and fragile finances, none of that is tempting today.  Too many other places to show the kids first; Places on their lists.  Being a mom is a sort of melting process. I flowed out into my children. I melted into them, so that I can no longer tell where they end and I begin.  If they weren’t a part of my life, as hard as that is to imagine, would Africa, still be my #1, or has time, as much as children changed me also?

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