Yesterday, March 9th, in a small coffee shop, of which there are many now in the striving-to-be-chic coastal town of Whitstable, young Jack Andrews sat in a high chair tucking into his snack. The bustle of the high street, the music in the shop, the endless chat between customers, including Jo and Emily all went suddenly quiet and into slow motion as I looked undistracted at the young boy who has been the centre of our life for the past few months. His very being, mannerisms, quirks, curly hair and chuckles are now indelible. I shall take them with me as personal treasure. Treasure that need not be declared at customs. In six months time that treasure will have grown in all manner of ways ensuring the priceless nature of off-spring endures time. We are all part of that chain and the specialness of the next few months is that we shall relish the company of another treasure, another priceless off-spring, whose very being, mannerisms, quirks, hair and chuckles will become also indelible.
In the quiet of that moment I felt the excitement of the future. It was peaceful and care free. It was warm and enveloping.
That experience was quite a change from several other moments leading up to this morning. The pressure of so much to think about, slotting things in place, organising the future of absence is quite a challenge. Melt downs have littered the last few weeks, which must be a downside to extended travel, but we have learned, and the next trip will be less traumatic. Apologies here if anyone has felt the effects of those melts!
So the day has arrived and we are off to terminal 2 in a few hours. We repacked everything into different bags. Last minute panic! We packed everything for Hayley into another bag – parents will always be a courier service for their children, along with all the other roles we play so efficiently! Rich tapestry and all that.
Said goodbyes on the drive to the boy his mum and Jean. Quick and simple!
Tom played chauffeur and we endured the inevitable “delays” between junction 9 and 11, but here on time. Jo in tears, Tom in tears, albeit he waited until he had refuge in the car!
And then, the first surprise of the trip, yes still in the U.K., my lovely sister Carol, still with crutch and limping towards called across the new terminal floor “I thought I’d catch the bus and see you off!” Just lovely. Family eh? Special.
Right, checked in, had some scoff, been to the loo, a couple of times, and feel settled, although the range of emotions is far more than a singular word. Dreamlike in fact.
Boarding in 20 minutes. Los Angeles here we come.
See you on the other side of the pond and indeed the American continent, the first of three, as it happens!