Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I left home when I was 15 to go to high school in San Diego... I am desperately attached to my parents. At the age of 34, the thought of spending a few hours with them makes my day, and yesterday, as I sat on the edge of the Bosphorus with my dad, eating grilled meatballs in my Beşiktaş uniform and then walked to the stadium to see the game (in which we kicked Ukrainian Metalist's orange clad butts 1-0) I definitely felt happy. Truly happy. Yelled and screamed and cursed and jumped and cheered the Beşiktaş style among the raunchiest fans ever. Had a great time. Wished we had more tickets so my sons and husband and mom and brother and his son and wife and my in laws came as well, but just being with my dad was also enough.
I will tie this to Rebecca's and Kristen's shower, I really will.
When I was pregnant with Arda, 3 weeks before he was due, I went to my routine check up where I was informed that I was 3cm dialated and the baby looked and sounded great and not to make another appointment, that Arda would probably show up that week.
So I called my parents, who were living in İstanbul, while Burak and I had been living in NYC for the past 6 years and at the time enjoying the wonderful 175,000 degree NYC weather. My mom came two days later. Arda had other thoughts in mind, though, so he decided to show up a whole month later, a week after he was due. That made everyone's plans a bit tighter than then had planned, my brother, sister in law and my dad got on a plane the day Arda was born and arrived the next day.
So for Arda's first days at home, I was surrounded by all my family. It was wonderful to see everyone precious to me there to witness the most meaningful creation I had brought to this world. In that tiny one bedroom apartment, 3AM nursing sessions (no matter now painful and frustrating) turned into family chat times when my mom told me of my first days in life. The sporadic "this child is hungry and your milk is not enough" comments faded the second I told them I was determined to give it a serious try - they trusted my instincts. Arda was fussy, sleepless and I was such a novice - but having my very supportive family around for the first few days made me a more patient, more sufficient mom. With Arda's every whim, with questions about his umbilical cord, circumcision, breastfeeding, everything, they saw me, day by day, learn to be a "mom." We went to Bryant Park together in the afternoons for lemonade and sandwiches, and Arda was luck enough to spend his first days of life with everyone that I love.
It was the same with Tunca - this time it was easier and much much more fun because we were living in İstanbul then, and everyone could hang out at our house for hours, playing with Arda, eating, watching soccer games, taking walks, yet everyone had the chance to go back to their homes at night to leave me with my beautiful sons. But when the morning came, someone always dropped by, sometimes with a juicy watermelon, sometimes with some DVDs but more often, chocolate and ice cream.
So, I don't know Kristen's family relationships, but as far as I can tell, Rebecca has a wonderful time with her parents, and I do wish for both of their babies (and other children) to be surrounded by loving, supportive extended families as they grow up.
On another note, the seeds of the virtual community of "mom bloggers" probably soared from the pregnancy and playgroup forums back in the late 90s. I still keep in touch with some wonderful women from my June 2000 pregnancy (and then playgroup) IVillage board, and I am profoundly proud and lucky to have such a support group, no matter the thousands of miles and the millions of opinions that separate us.