Those of you who follow our blog may recall that back in November we landed in India, during the wee small hours of the morning, without any luggage. It had been a terribly long and wearisome journey. And, when we were absolutely certain that our multitude of suitcases was really not going to come tooling around on the conveyor belt, we had to go wait in a short, but very slow, line to talk to the airport personnel about our missing bags. You would think that our kids would have been throwing tantrums at this point, or at the very least, whining and whimpering. But, no, my two little kiddos rose far above my expectations. While Mr. Reuben sat happily on the floor and played with some flight tags on his car seat, Leila asked me for a pen. For nearly 20 minutes, Leila entertained herself by decorating several cabin baggage tags, including the one pictured above.
It wasn’t my intention to save that little tag, but when I found it a couple of days later, I stuck it in my bedroom mirror. Throughout our stay here, it was my reminder that my kids are going to be OK. When I found myself worrying that our travel-the-world lifestyle was becoming too overwhelming for our kids I would go look at those little scribbles, and tell myself a story about two kids who are learning to be flexible and adventurous. I tell myself about happy and healthy kids, who make my travel more complicated, but all the more rich and memorable.
I’ve never been one for saying goodbye. I think it has gotten about 20 times more difficult now that I have children who must also say goodbye. Yet here we are again, at goodbye time. It has been five months since we arrived without luggage at the Bangalore International Airport. The bags, which did finally arrive, have now been refilled with with a whole new assortment of goodies to bring back. And, in the meantime, we have been blessed.
More than any other thing, it has been a delight to watch our children be loved and enjoyed by India. In the same way, we have watched them grow to love India, and treat it as their own. It is home, just like Michigan. This is good and sweet, and it makes the hard goodbyes just a little bit more OK.