Living in Barcelona can be incredibly awesome at times. You have access to some of the best beaches in the world, several amazing art museums, gothic and modernist architecture everywhere you go, and all the patatas bravas and churros con chocolate you could ask for.
But sometimes living in Barcelona sucks. Especially when your family lives all the way across the Atlantic ocean and you've just had a baby. At times like this it is SO hard and SO un-glamorous to live here. Of course you miss your family baby or no baby. But once a baby comes, you wish your parents and siblings were around to give you some advice, lend a hand, and also just kiss and cuddle your baby endlessly.
Since welcoming our bundle of joy almost two months ago, the Professor and I have been so fortunate to have his parents come stay with us. They intended to arrive before Roman was born but Roman came two weeks early and beat them here. I know for many people the idea of living with your in-laws for a few months sounds like a unique form of torture. But I get along extremely well with the Professor's parents and I can't imagine what we would have done without them. If you've had a baby, you know how important it is to have some help if you're lucky enough to get it. Having someone around to do the grocery shopping, vacuum, cook proper meals, clean the bathroom and do laundry while you're showering, nursing, changing diapers, or comforting a crying/shrieking baby is what's truly priceless no matter what MasterCard says. More than just helping with the household chores, it's so valuable to have your family around so that your baby grows up hearing their voices, seeing their faces, and feeling their love. People always ask us what is the thing we miss most since moving from Miami to Barcelona and I think they always expect us to say the beaches, the outlet malls, or the Cuban food. But the answer is always, unequivocally our families.
The Professor's parents leave tomorrow and we're going to miss them terribly. And because they don't speak any English, I'll say this part in Spanish: Mil gracias por todo! Los queremos mucho y vamos a echarlos de menos!
(Photo: Roman and his grandmother. Doesn't his expression crack you up?)