Moments in our journey, snapshots of the realities of traveling...
There is a moment when . . . you're finally through security, your bags are checked, you've done the duty free shopping (bourban and vodka of course) and you know there is no turning back now even if you wanted to, that all you need to do is get on the plane and everything changes. Your horizon has just extended. You know that you will be exhausted, angry, sad, scared shitless. And you know it'll be like nothing else you've ever done.
There is a moment when... it's 3am and everyone is awake, despite only having gone to sleep 4 hours ago. You give up the battle, the heat is making sleep impossible anyway. You make your child a bowl of Weetabix, which you helpfully purchased late last night from Tesco Express, and you all sit at the breakfast bar of your apartment. You're actually here! Who cares if you're all knackered and haven't had enough sleep! You decide to wander the early-morning streets and have an amazing walk across Waterloo Bridge and down the Southbank with no crowds about.
There is a moment when . . . your child has just woken up in the middle of the night crying and with a burning fever, and vomited everywhere. You're in the middle of the Lakes District in England, and you know the nearest available medical help is at least a 40 minute drive away. Your head hurts a little bit because it's midnight and you had a few beers the night before. You're tired, disorientated and trying to hold it together. Your child gets out of the shower and as you're drying him down he says "Dad?", and you say "yes" expecting to have to calm & reassure him further, and he says " . . . I really love you".
There is a moment when... after spending the day alternating between the hospital, the car, the pharmacy and cuddling your sick child, and your husband settles said child and your father orders buckets of ice and between them produce an ice cold beverage to be enjoyed in a wisteria-filled courtyard among gorgeous stone houses which are dwarfed by a magnificent castle. The sun in shining, the child's window is open & he's silent and there are peacocks strutting around and you sigh in relief.
There is a moment when . . . you realise you've fucked up a flight booking, and although you have enough time to fix it. it's going to cost you an extra few grand that you don't have, that you didn't really plan for, but that you're going to have to pay anyway because there's no other way home. Your wife is understanding, but you snap at her anyway, because you're angry with yourself for being so stupid. The bottom drops out of your stomach, you feel the colour go from your face. You re-run the sums again and again in your head and on the spreadsheet. And then, after a few hours, you suck it up and you sort it. There is that moment too.
There is a moment when... your better half, taking on all the driving responsibility is trying to navigate on his phone which keeps freezing, drives us down a one-way pedestrian shared-space where there are no other cars and no clear way through the crowds and instead of help him navigate a way out you laugh with such mirth that you think you might wet yourself, especially when an elderly lady on a mobility scooter decides to lead the way.
There is a moment when... your child, who has been clingy and only wanted to hold your hand everywhere we go, lets go of your hand to race ahead and cling to his Grandfather's. Watching them walk ahead you appreciate the special bond between the two and how lucky you are to all be together.
There is a moment when . . . you have been driving around the manic one-way-traffic-filled streets of Edinburgh for half an hour, going in circles trying to find the unbelievably poorly signposted rental car drop off place, and on the third Google you finally find it, and you drop the car off and there are (thank God) no problems, and you walk out into the early evening gloom, and you hear your father-in-law shout your name, and you see him wave you down. He is at a pub, and you order a big, cold, pint of beer. And there is a moment when you taste it, and everything is better again.
There is a moment when... your child has a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket, says a loud "WAHHHHH" in your face and then shouts his new catch-phrase "You hurt my feelings!". You decide walking away is the best strategy and feel slightly guilty that your other half has decided to engage in this ridiculous behaviour. Not guilty enough to assist him, better just look at the foreign chocolate instead.
There is a moment when . . . you are driving back to your hotel, just you and your son, and you've committed to try and get him to have a sleep because he's exhausted and you've promised him he could watch the football game with you if he does. You're 15 minutes away and you're just not sure this is going to happen, and just when you're starting to think about Plan B, you here that telltale rhythmic breathing from the back seat, and you glance back to see his eyes closed. And then you come up over a ridge to a beautiful English country view, and your favourite song kicks into your favourite guitar lick, just at that second. And you smile.
There is a moment when... your taxi arrives and you realise that it's a black cab! The one experience you felt you missed in London. Your child has his own miniature black cab, so excitement abounds for the entire 15 minute journey.
There is a moment when... you drive off the beaten track over judder bars into fields of purple heather where sheep wander free amid signs warning you to slow down. The Yorkshire moors are filled with that magical light after a rain shower and every so often you have to stop the car while a sheep decides to lazily waddle across the road.
There is a moment when . . . the three of you hold hands, and you walk down a cobbled street that your son insists is "just like at home" when it is clearly not, and you look up at buildings hundreds of years old, and you look at each other, and you smile. And you walk on.
And then there are the photo moments, some of which we've already shared on our social media accounts, Follow us using one of the icons below to see more of our journey!
We are a family of 3. This blog is the story of how we almost became 4, why we didn’t, and what we are doing to recover from that experience.