We have built our own little happy corner here in the west whereas the rest of my family, ok ok .. extended family (Amma gets all twisted when I just say family) lives in the far east. India if you really want to know.
This means sitting in a plane for a good 16-20hrs just to get there and then repeating the journey on our way back. Try doing that all by yourself with a kid in tow and trust me, no matter how good of a traveler your kid is, it is NOT easy. This is why I now opt for the direct flight with no connections. An early morning layover somewhere in Europe is no fun. You can’t really nap because you have an energetic child to watch over which then leaves you with a headache and cranky child that starts feeling sleepy when it’s about time to start boarding.
So, if I want to see them, the quickest way is Facetime. Thank god for technology. Rewind to 15 yrs ago and the days of calling cards and counting the minutes. I remember how our dad metered our overseas calls. Ok, did you say happy birthday?, pass the phone on to the next person in line. Kids these days have no clue how easy they have it.
Last month, over multiple weekend facetime calls, her paternal grandparents were trying to convince her, or rather me through her that she should spend her summer holidays in India. They also tried to entice her by saying that it will be lots of fun because her (cousin) brother A will be there as well. Let’s just say that after several weeks of saying the same thing, she decided to end it once for all by blaming me!?
R, don’t you have summer holidays?
No. I have summer camp.
Don’t you have the big long holiday?
No (and she looks at me)
(I whisper to her that she isn’t yet in “proper” school so there are no long holidays)
And they go back and forth for a good 3-4 minutes with the granny trying to tell her she has holidays and my kid saying no. The grandfather then gets on the call.
I want to see you. Will you come to India?
No, I don’t have any holidays. You come here.
I can’t really travel. Your brother A will be here as well.
I don’t think my amma has holidays.
Can you come on your own? we can pick you up from the airport.
(seriously, who asks a 5 yr old if they can travel on their own. It’s a big bad world out there people!!)
No, I am too small for that.
Then come with your Amma.
(And this is when she delivers the punchline that ends the conversation for good. I pretended that I hadn’t even heard it)
I cannot come because my Amma doesn’t like sitting in a plane for that long. She said cannot do that every year.
Touche kiddo. Just blame it on Mom. Especially when talking to her in-laws. I rolled my eyes at the dad who was sitting right to next her and slunk away. She doesn’t always have to travel with me! And they are your parents!!