Uncomfortable In My Own Clothes: Part 1

(Written 4/6/2014 but not posted until now.)
Since college, every vacation I’ve taken to visit family requires a weight gain. My last vacation was no exception. The clothes I had taken in (after living in Armenia for 3 months) and again became too large, now fit. The result of eating foods that are either unavailable or are just too expensive.


March 2014

When I left for Armenia, I hadn’t planned to return to the US until the conclusion of my service, 27 months later, but my precious little Titernik’s arrival changed all that. It’s difficult to describe how it feels to stare into his sleeping baby face knowing I must go back to work and leave him for 16 months. He won’t know me. He won’t remember how I smell. He won’t recognize my voice.

Al fresco dining

Al fresco dining

Still, I found that I miss the routine I’d established and the life I’ve created in Armenia, not to mention my friends and coworkers. But there is an underlying feeling that cannot always be ignored – that I am not wholly part of either place. In the last days at home, my thoughts  return to the unfinished work I left, as my Program Manager likes to say, “Planting trees under whose shade we will never sit.”

So my Titer jan will have a reference point and a way of knowing what I was doing as he was growing, learning to roll over, cutting teeth, tasting his first foods, taking his first steps and speaking his first words; I am creating a record of our time apart by sending to him postcards of my photos. Every month he’ll receive a different photo and a note from me. Not a perfect solution but it fits me right now.


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4 responses to “Uncomfortable In My Own Clothes: Part 1”

  1. Cathy says :

    Hearty congratulations on the birth of Titer jan. You are brave to continue your service and make that hard decision to return to finish your tour of duty and your solution is a fine one under the circumstances. Think of all the years that you will have together after you return home. And, I know your family will keep you posted with all the news that develops in that first most important year of life. Be of good cheer, “Grandma!” 😉

    • Bobbie S says :

      Cathy, It’s incredibly easy to keep in touch these days, what with emailing pictures and 20 second videos. My desktop is covered with tiny peeks into the baby’s life from batting at toys (because he doesn’t know how to grab them yet), to rolling over and later, pulling himself up to stand. I’ve been sending him a monthly postcard with a photo I’ve taken on the front. It will serve to show him where I was his first year of life.
      Thanks for following me, it’s comforting to know you and other friends are there looking out for me.

  2. Don says :


    Becoming a grandmother means you have certain responsibilities, chief among them is to love your newest family member to distraction. Distance allows for that as we’ve learned in our family with our first two grandchildren living on the complete other side of the planet, New Zealand. You will live in the fame that your children spin to your new grandchild, and then you will have the chance to do all those things “granny” does like sing family ditties, change diapers, catch the food a late infant flings off the high chair tray, and best of all, cuddle and coo. Do finish your current adventure, come back to the bosom of the family, and don’t fail to be the woman whose fame grows because she embraces life, all of life.

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