After an interesting conversation with my husband last night, I have figured out why he loves going home to Brazil so much!
It's not the weather. He's acclimated to San Diego and is just as much of a blob as I am when hit by the wall of heat and humidity that greets us as we get off the plane.
It's not seeing his family and friends. Though he loves hanging out with them all when we go.
It's not being back in a country where he can hear his native language everywhere he goes. Considering how fried my brain is after speaking Portuguese for three weeks straight, I can only imagine how nice it must be to not have to think so hard about communicating. But he says he's gotten used to speaking two languages (well, three actually. He's also fluent in Spanish and speaks it at work).
It's not being able to eat the foods he grew up with. Most of the things he craves we can get here at one of the two little Brazilian shops in San Diego. Farofa and Guarana are a constant staple in our American pantry. When we're in Brazil, he does enjoy drinking sugar can juice squeezed right from the stalk, and walking down to the corner bakery for meat filled pastries, but it's more of an afterthought than something he looks forward to.
You know what it is? It's being taken care of like he's five years old again.
It's being able to throw his clothes on the bathroom floor and finding them washed and folded in his drawer a few hours later. It's having his underwear ironed, his socks darned, and his sheets changed EVERY day without having to bat an eyelash.
It's walking in the door and sitting down to a three course meal, and not having to lift a finger to clean up afterwards. And sitting in front of the TV where desert is delivered into his hands.
This boy lives THE LIFE when he's home. His mom spoils him rotten, partly because she doesn't see him often, but also simply because he's her SON. His brother gets the same treatment.
I thought I was letting Gilberto off easy on the home front until my first trip to Brazil. I was shocked at how much his mom did for him and the family (yes, I benefited as well). No wonder it took forever to train him to put his laundry in a hamper. Luckily he's a bit more forward thinking than most Brazilian boys, and doesn't mind helping me out around the house. But he sure does enjoy himself when he goes home!