I definitely feel God gave me this trip, on December 30th my husband decided to go on the internet and look for prices on tickets to Chile, for our surprise, tickets had gone down a little bit (the last time I look they were $2,000 per ticket so I knew there was no way I was going to visit any family any time soon). I didn't pay much attention when Matt told me, I just kept doing whatever I was doing in the kitchen and moved on. Bath time came and while I was there, Matt thought about the miles he had earned for years and years and he "played" with that and realized if we "cash" all his miles we could go for nearly nothing. So he proposed this brilliant unselfish completely loving idea and I got excited, my wheels starter turning and I thought ... hey! why not! So next thing I know I'm checking at work to see if I can take a couple of weeks off and just like that, my wonderful husband purchased the tickets and in 3 weeks I was going to be taking a plane to see my family in the great company of my little boy!
I had always dream of going to Chile and not tell a soul and surprise everyone but I never thought I had the
So the day came and without much preparation (other than throwing a bunch of summer clothes in our suitcase) we left to go to Atlanta and take that wonderful flight that would, once again, take me to the place that I used to call home!
The first funny thing at the airport was people's faces at our gate when I arrive with one lovely 2 year old beside me, you could see their minds going quickly at the worse scenario possible during this night time flight, I guess they thought "Man a child on my flight! ... boy am I lucky or what?" Needless to say he was the only child so if he cried it was obvious that was him :D but they didn't count with the marvelous character of my child and the little help of Benadryl so we had a very pleasant flight.
As we arrive my uncle and his wife were waiting on us, I cried of course like I always do when I arrive there, and inmediately got in the car to drive for about 5 hours to get to my hometown. I have to give it to my wonderful child who had to be in a car for 3 hours from our hometown to Atlanta, 9 1/2 hours on a flight and then 5 more hours in a car to finally get to our destination! I don't think people realized the effort that means for a 2 year old (and his mother) to travel all these hours to get there, if they only knew what it takes, they probably wouldn't asked so much from us when we go. (This has to do with the Ugly of this trip that I'll mention later on this post).
Oh the faces I saw and the excitement I felt any time we were surprising people, it was indescribable, some people thought I had gotten divorce and that's why I decided to show up without telling a soul! ha! ... I guess as we grow older we loose the capability of enjoying a surprise for what it is and we have to make it rational somehow. :(
The whole point of surprising people was for me to have a calm, relaxed, enjoyable time. Until this trip, every time I visit I announce it to the world so of course each one of my family members and friends wanted to spend time with us and I found myself juggling an agenda so I can fit everyone in it and of course by the time the trip was over I was more tired than I was before I left, stressed, feeling guilty because I neglected my mom for spending time with other people, etc - Do I need to explain more? - so this time I said "Forget the rest" I owe myself a trip like this, one that I can enjoy every second of it without being interrupted by phone calls and people knocking at our door so we can sit down and talk - What? wait a minute, that's what you did before you had a child, now it's hard to find time to have a conversation ... nevertheless sit down for one ... when you have a little one who wants to share with you every thought of his and invite you to "fun" places to play with him - sorry no time sitting down and talking on this trip, only playtime!
So I did everything I wanted to do (well ... everything my son allowed for us to do, not that I let him run my life but in a way when you are a mother your schedule and all your activities are dictated - more or less - by the mood of your child, I don't take him shopping or to places where I know it will be a nightmare for both of us) so in my mind I had great plans of visiting my aunt who lives in the country and has plenty of room outside for my little one to get nasty and play nonstop with cousins he doesn't get to see but once a year (if that). I knew my cousins live close by my mom's house so we would be getting together for playdates and things like that and thank to the good Lord my dream came to a reality and that's all we did. play and have fun.
I was able to enjoy the wonders of my family's great cooking, the refreshing taste of those Chilean drinks that I love, the rewarding sound of a big laugh and the joyous tears that we shed every time we saw someone that we love and miss! Oh the wonders of family love! For those of you who have your family close by, imagine for a second to be in a complete different continent (yes North and South America are different continents on my book) and being able to see them just once in a blue moon, do you know the joy that it is to be with them again? The blessing that it is to be able to spend a birthday celebration with your cousin or be part of a surprise party for your great aunt who's turning who knows how many years!!!!!! No words can describe these wonderful feelings!
The Bad? well that no matter how long you go you always wish you had more time.
The Ugly? people's feelings getting hurt by my choice of not calling them while I was down there. I understand that as a first reaction but I don't understand the long big drama some people is making of it 'til this day, but I won't let them opaque my joy and thankfulness for a blessed wonderful fun time with my son and my family.