Yesterday we stowed the rest of our belongings within our suitcases, jumped in a giant black suburban, bursting at the seams of it's blackened windows and headed for The Big D (and I do mean Dulles).
We were greeted at 10:00am with the expected excitement ofan already disgruntled airline ticket agent and the stares and audible whispers of onlookers.
“Jim! *Gasp* Look at all that stuff. *Gasp* Aren’t you glad we travel lightly Jim
and are only leaving for two days not moving a family of five for two years? Jim can you believe all that stuff!?”
“No Frances I can not believe all that stuff!
Aren’t you glad we can’t remember what it was like to travel with kids 30 years ago and how it felt to have people staring at you and whispering and judging, Frances I cannot!”
We held our heads high, for we had only packed five bags, you heard me, FIVE bags. We are allotted two each up to 50lbs for a total of ten and we traveled with each and every one to and from Brazil. We are *Gasp* learning to pack lighter than your typical (whatever that means) family of five moving to a foreign country, now though. Throw in a few bulky car seats, a backpack, a briefcase, a bumble bee, puppy dog and big-boy backpack and yes we might look a little materialistic to a passer-by. But, I’d dare Frances or Jim to confront me on either of our back-to-back 10 hour flights to the south of India. Aside for organizing every last inch of each of those five bags, four backpacks and my camera bag, I secretly packed the kid's bags with treats and toys with the fervor of a travel elf, and they will (for the most part, usually, sometimes) play quietly and I will later be complimented on their behavior while Frances and Jim snooze away the hours in the adjacent seats. Word.
Peter is most excited for "New Lork City" and “The Statue of Little Bees." Sam is most impressed by the overwhelmingly delicious scent of the airport bathroom soap and Clem is just a little bit stressed out. Paul is quiet, in anticipation of my eventual nervous breakdown, which may come tomorrow after I bid farewell to my best friend who is driving to New York from DC,with her family, for one last ultimate play-date in the city. Until then, he is worried because I am incredibly calm and collected. I wonder why myself, but have a lot of good people on my side and I’ve done this before. Sort-of.
After uncovering a bottle of champagne gifted to us by my brother on our wedding day, while the movers packed our apartment, we shoved it in the only available suitcase with weight to spare and ditched a champagne bottle’s weight worth of women’s and children’s clothing. We made the command decision to finally pop it open in New York, ending it’s worldwide travels and christening our voyage to India, just shy of our eighth wedding anniversary in January, in the place where it all began.
As we settled the kids into our room last night, Sam on aroll-away, Peter in one full and Clem in the other, a tiny and familiar drum began to play outside our hotel window. From the street belowcame the humming of pipes, familiar from my childhood lived between Bellingham, Washington and British Columbia, and my days of Highland dancing.
As we wondered what the business was of a rogue piper in Midtown on a Thursday night, the rest of the Scottish pipe band arrived and proceeded to play themselves up and down 44th for the next two hours. Peter and Clementine fell immediately asleep and Sam thrummed on his pillow along with the beat of the snare drummer. Paul and I cracked open the bottle of Dom Perignon to drink together in the dark of our hotel room. I fought muscle memory and held myself still instead of bursting into a full Highland sword dance in my pajamas and we all eventually fell asleep to the more normal-abnormal sounds wafting in from the streets of the city.
True story. I may or may not still wear the kilt and vest occasionally, Paul will never tell.