I’m writing this post as I sit in an Urgent Care Clinic in Brooklyn, the day before we head home, waiting for a doctor to see the Boy Child.
It’s actually our second visit to an Urgent Care Clinic in as many days, so as well as doing the US tour of rest stop bathrooms, particularly those within ten minutes of our point of departure, we seem to be specialising in US walk-in medical facilities too.
Both kids have needed medical attention this trip. Nothing major, just major enough that we’ve been afraid to stick them on a 24-hour international flight without arming ourselves with all the knowledge and medication.
That said, these visits have been brief detours in the overall frivolity that has been this trip. Really just a blip on the radar of holiday fun.
One of my dearest friends made me laugh the other day when she messaged and said we looked like we were having an epic holiday. “When I travel, I literally sit on my ass all day and drink cocktails,” she wrote.
It got me to thinking – this particular brand of holiday, the long haul travel, the constant sightseeing, the driving of unfamiliar roads and sides of roads, the multiple – shared – hotel rooms, the packing and repacking, the washing, the mere presence of our offspring – none of it makes for a particularly restful holiday.
And it didn’t come easy in the first place either. There’s epic planning, hours of research, the cost, of course, and then the subsequent, perhaps inevitable heartache over the reasonableness of the cost.
I’m absolutely not complaining. I love travelling, as a departure from lying by a pool or on the beach.
We’re lucky enough to have family on the Sunshine Coast where we visit regularly and so we get our fill of idyllic beach time (plus more than a few cocktails) there. I think this is why we haven’t felt the need to do the the beachy/resort thing in a little while now.
As I sit here trying to explain to person after person that I don’t have medical insurance, nor do I have a preferred pharmacy, nor a local residential address and actually, we do birth dates backwards to you guys, I find myself wondering whether we might have erred in pushing ourselves (and the kids) so hard this holiday.
We have a huge few months of life and work ahead of us, what if cocktails and butt-sitting was exactly what we needed?
The thought is gone almost as soon as it arrived.
This trip has been incredible and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. And to share it with my family…. There are barely words.
Even if the kids don’t remember it in any real detail, hopefully they’ll remember a few abstract notions.
If not where we went specifically, then maybe what it’s like to emerge from the darkness of a subway station to the streets of the Manhattan for the first time, the overwhelming, slightly terrifying chaos of somewhere new and different.
If not what we saw on Broadway, then maybe the thrill of the lights dimming and the first few notes of an overture.
If not the specifics of Amish life, then maybe the fact that there are whole communities, countries around the world, living a fundamentally different experience to their own.
If not the names of each of the Niagara Falls, then hopefully the incredulity of their mum and dad signing them up for a boat trip where they got totally soaked, fully-clothed, on a mild Canadian autumn day.
If not the regional specialities tried and tasted, then hopefully the surprise and joy in the understanding that mum and dad take a holiday from meal rules too.
Which is fine for a while, but eventually evolves into dinner discussions about which home cooked meal we’d like to eat first when we get home.
Which then evolves into a conversation about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’s protagonist, Ichabod Crane, and how perhaps if the headless horseman would have piffed mum’s pumpkin risotto at him in that dark, instead of a whole Jack O’ Lantern, then maybe he wouldn’t have been so scared.
Or maybe they’ll just recall how mum and dad were there, for the most part, all day, every day, and every night, and we how we did it all together.
Often annoying the crap out of each other but mainly just enjoying living, learning, loving and being together, without distraction.
If I’m honest, that would be enough.*
*Yes, this is a Hamilton reference. As ever – not sorry.