I still recollect a dinner table talk a few months back at our home in Singapore on where to head for the summer holidays. The elder one (then 7 years old) promptly replied "a drop- off India trip". I wasn't too surprised but somewhere was a bit reluctant. The elder one had done this in the past and totally enjoyed it but it was a first for my younger one (now 3 years old). As days passed, I realized she was serious about this holiday plan and I dare not alter it. Of course conversations with the younger one also started and she seemed more than ready. I probably forgot that my nephew and my elder girl did their first such vacation when they were 3-years old too!! So this should have been easy for me!
Well as they say easier said than done! I have had my moments of weakness in the last few days, wondering how I will kill my time in the next two weeks without the girls, will they be fine without me, will my younger one sail it through. And also an unwanted realisation that I will miss them more than they will miss me!
I often recollect my childhood holidays and talk about it to my girls- visits to my grand mum's house in Kerala, spending weeks with my cousins, as we grew even our talks maturing, meeting each other's girlfriends/ boyfriends. Little did we realise that those few weeks of catch up would bond us for life!
My sister and my first holiday abroad (and that too just by ourselves) was a visit to my uncle in Muscat. She was 16 years old and me just 11 years then. Till today, that was probably my most 'special' holiday. And my parents were not on that holiday with us!!
My inner circle of cousins (today though geographically very far from me) are my closest 'whatsapp' buddies. We chat almost every day, exchange pictures/videos and even cry out some of our day's anguish. Am sure those endless games of hide and seek, hours of chatting, table tennis on the dining table had some role to play in bringing us so close...
When I was leaving my mum's home for the airport, for a moment I thought why can't I just stay here and be a part of all this fun. What am I heading back home for? A few days by myself?? I am still not sure how fruitful that is going to be. But the giggles and laughters I heard as soon I closed the door, just made my decision easier.
Somewhere I am (hopefully) opening windows for the girls to be more independent, form their own relationships and create a path for years of future bonding. Probably when they grow up and remember their childhood holidays, this maybe a special part of their memories. And with that thought, I head back home with a smile and not tears this time around...