My solo days are over.
Upon arrival at Orlando airport, I was greeted by a good-looking guy. Took me a few seconds to realize he was my son’s playmate in Singapore. Behind him was a pretty young lady, his sister. Oh my, how they’ve grown!
A week with my former neighbour and her two children was more meaningful than I expected. It’s been too long apart, there’s so much to talk about, so many things in common – teens, college, relationships, health and all under the Florida sun that we mid-lifers are concerned about.
I was also part of the family entourage to celebrate high school graduation in a big ceremony with a thousand others and more intimately at home. Apparently both my airport greeters are Valedictorians having topped their respective cohorts and making their mum the proudest in the entire neighbourhood.
Time went by superlatively quickly as I immersed into the Vietnamese-American household and had to move on again.
Next stop is North Carolina to meet my second grand-niece for the first time and to prepare for her sister’s third birthday.
Being with a toddler and a baby makes me wonder how I managed when my son was that age – broken sleep, persistent attention seeking, juggling of chores, rush to drop-off and pick-up, and whatever thrown at you in the name of motherhood.
But all’s worth it when you see their smiles and relish their cuddles. The time with them is filled with saliva dripping chins, cream moustache, crocodile tears, little tantrums we know too well, sweet gestures of affection, all warm and surprising moments.
It was also great to see the parents transform from an idealistic couple to hands-on quick-on-the-feet super respondents keeping the household under control and in good shape. As they like to say here – Good Job!
Though we’re just ‘a call or chat away’, it’s very different face-to-face when you can feel the hugs, smell the cooking, hear the laughter and doze midway in conversations trying to stretch the night catching up as much as possible.
Wish I could stay longer but for now, I’ll have to be content with skyping and facebook postings. Thanks, Tim, Janus & Niklas, and Mark for keeping us connected.