So the good news is that el esposo has been accepted into a doctoral program here in Philadelphia. After all of these years of supporting my fabulous freelance career, aka no regular salary and no health benefits, el esposo finally gets to follow his bliss. Come September, he will begin his studies to get his Ph.d in Hispanic linguistics and I will be the official worker bee supporting our Kinky Gazpacho family. Luckily, el esposo is so brilliant he was awarded a teaching fellowship, so he will receive a tiny, little, itty, bitty stipend, but the fact of the matter is, we will be eating a lot more beans and rice for dinner.
Which brings us to the bad news. Because we're looking at some lean years ahead, this summer el esposo will be working two jobs to try to offset his soon to be lack of income. So, of course a trip to Spain for four people is out of the question.
Now some people may not be able to muster up a shred of sympathy for my predicament, but I have to say that for our family, going to Spain doesn't feel like a luxury or even a vacation. It's simply where we live during the summers. Summer equals Spain. Summer means not speaking English. It means pan con aceite de oliva instead of butter, for breakfast. It means dry, hot heat by day, and refreshing Atlantic breezes at night. It means playing with our cousins and watching a lot of soccer. It means watching my children shed their American skin and practice being a child in a different language. It means feeling a little inept in the domestic arts for me, as I watch how a "real" Spanish woman cares for her home and waits on her man. Yes, I am going to miss it all.
Every day my children ask, 'when are we going to Spain?' For them, it isn't even a question of whether we will go, but when are we leaving. I hate telling them that this year we are not going, not because I feel bad that we don't have enough money, but rather because in our family summer equals Spain. This is how el esposo and I have tried to instill in our Spanish-American children that they come from two countries. We don't want Spain to feel like a sometime-y vacation or holiday. We want them to know that they belong there too.
So, how am I making myself feel better about the whole thing? Well, given el esposo's area of study, I'm sure sooner or later he'll have to go do research in Spain and the kids and I will tag along. Also, this is only one year. Who knows what will happen next year? Maybe my new novel, Substitute Me will be optioned for a film deal or Oprah will make it her last book club pick, we'll be filthy rich and get to go Spain twice a year! And in the meantime, el esposo's sister is still in love with my brother and is coming for an extended visit in the fall. So, if we can't get to Spain, at least a little bit of Spain is coming to us.
Thanks for listening. And by the way, what do you world travelers do when you can't afford the transatlantic flight? What do you do to substitute for travel?
p.s. Tune in to the Today Show, tomorrow (Thursday) morning at 8:09am to catch me talking about hair. The specific topic: Curly vs Straight.