With our dossier entrusted to the powers-that-be, and Taly's biting lessened (apparently she just need me to out her to the Internet), it is time to focus on The Next Big Thing: a family trip to India.
Tis the season for family vacations. To places like Disney World or lake houses or water parks. We pack up the kids and head over the ocean and through the woods to the Mother Land.
I am really excited. Really excited. Excited to do this as a family, and not to wait at home for a month while Ben gets to have all the fun. I am thankful that my kids, young as they are, get this experience. Simon doesn't really remember India. He thinks he does, but when asked about it, he always refers to monkeys, and I think monkeys are maybe the one kind of animal we didn't see in Bangalore.
American-ization has fully set in. Like his mama, he hates loud noises. It makes me laugh, because I remember how well he did as a baby living in the loudest country in the world (in my opinion. I haven't been everywhere). That kid slept through Diwali fireworks, dogs barking, vendors shouting, horns blaring. He never blinked, and now he freaks when I start the KitchenAid.
He hates getting dirty. When we lived in India, his favorite place to play was on a pile of dirt and gravel across the street from our house. I let him climb all over it until a rat beat me in a staring contest.
So, it's time. Time for him (and me) to reawaken the parts of us that the peace, quiet and cleanliness of America has lulled asleep.
It's hard getting ready to go back when I've gotten soft. There was a day when this freaked me out. When I would literally pray that my visa application would get denied at the Embassy so I wouldn't have to go. When I cried at the thought of the unknowns that my "country-in-law" presented.
Then a new day dawned. When I realized I was comfortable in my Indian surroundings. That I loved the adventure, loved not being able to control my day. I relished the challenges of power cuts and shady rickshaw drivers. My life was like a big puzzle, and I just had to wake up each morning and figure out how to fit the pieces together.
But, now, as I scan my lists - TO BUY - TO DO - TO PACK, I admit that that day has also passed.
Now, I live in the wretched in-between. Where I know there is more out there - more richness, more color, more life. But, I also know it's hard and dirty and noisy. I know I CAN do it, and that I WANT to do it, but...
....but, I have to adjust my kids to a new time zone. And since they're too young for Tylenol PM, it's not an option for me either.
....but, I'm pretty sure they're not going to love Indian cafeteria food. (Like I will?)
....but, it will be stinkin' HOT!
....but, we will all be sharing one room. For a month.
....but, I have to pack light. (um, I'll let you know how that goes)
....but, I will have NO internet access!!!!!!!!!!
In the big picture of global perspective, amazing experiences, life-changing opportunities, these buts are miniscule. But to a mommy of two, these buts seem pretty monumental.
We're excited. And thankful that this is our life. The logistics, however, are making me crazy.