……because I’m delighted with myself. I’ve had my first day in Buenos Aires today, which, after nearly 24 hours of travelling, was spent mostly unleashing my needy skin to the warmth of a hot sun, and luxuriating in the highly strange concept of having a day off. Yes, that also involved sampling my first glass of Argentinian wine (in said sun, but if you can’t be irresponsible on holiday, when can you?).
Given that I had planned this adventure months ago – to fly to the tango capital of the world to learn the sensual dance of dances – it was a little late in the game to realise mid-13 hour flight from London that in fact it’s an awfully long way from home. It was as my little TV screen showed the plane endlessly flying over Brazil that it hit home how far home was on the other half of the world. It’s been over 20 years since I’ve done a long-haul flight. Then I was young and carefree and the panic was in leaving my mum. Now, it felt so disquieting to be getting further and further away from my girls.
It was other-worldly.
A big part of me panicked. What if they needed me? I was literally at the other side of the world, across the hemisphere, out of reach. It is wrong for a mother to be that far from her child. The space and distance is vast. Ireland can fit in a city dot on the South American map. Sitting on the plane, on a no-turn-back 14 hour flight, I felt lost in space and time, unable to contact anyone I love. As a single mum these last two years, my connection to the girls has veered on the leech-like. Now I felt wrenched away, bleeding.
But, like it takes two to tango, that panic was mingled with a delicious thrill that you can only get from the anticipation of a new adventure. I was flying to a vast country on the other side of the world, where nobody knows me, and I can be someone else entirely. Or me entirely. A stranger among strangers.
And that is the constant struggle in my life – teetering on the beam, balancing the pull of them and the push of me. And that is life.. so I will live it the best way I can, in a tango dance between the two. Earlier this week I took them glamping, and we had the best fun with their cousins. We didn’t wash for three days, and barbequed bacon and sausages for breakfast. Bliss on a stick. But as life is one big constant schizophrenic sashay from the ridiculous to the sublime, I ditched the glamping for glamour and will now dance my socks off (oh wait, too hot for socks) in Buenos Aires. First lesson today… wish me luck!