The four of us had an intense family moment. For the first few seconds we just looked at each other…
…Things looked bad, and smelled worse! As we pulled into our parking spot the poor kid sat soaked and helpless, waiting for the rest of us to snap into action!!!
2 mins to our arrival at our friend Rupal’s home, after an almost 2 hour car ride, our 5-year-old had thrown up all over himself, and his booster seat, and on his jacket laying to the side, and … well you get the idea. Never having dealt with an explosion of this magnitude in the entirety of my 11 years of parenthood, I sat there more anxious than him!
Travel misadventures come in many forms. So do our heroes… the ones who make dealing with, what needs to be dealt with, just so much easier!
Back to the car park…
… Our friends, Hetal and Ivan, sauntered towards our car now, armed with cleaning supplies and 100% chillaxed! Having dealt with similar misadventures with their own kids numerous times, they were pros at this!
Beyond the car, the cleanup involved a quick shower for the boy, washing every layer of his clothing, and delaying our group’s trip into New York city until the laundry was done and the 5-year-old re-outfitted.
In the meantime our host, Rupal, went above and beyond to make us all feel welcome. She magically produced a pair of brand new pajamas that fit my son perfectly, made multiple trips to the laundry room for us, and served up an array of drinks and snacks while we waited.
(*sidenote – this was only the second time we had met Rupal, and the first visit to her home!)
Thank you Rupal, Hetal, and Ivan for infusing laughter and levity to an otherwise messy situation – pun intended! After a rough start we had an amazing trip to NYC with you, and yes, the 5-year-old felt 100% after that warm shower and hospitality 🙂
Here we are at Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park in NYC 🙂
While this explosive situation was a minor inconvenience in the large scheme of things, August 2018 had thrown us a major curveball. Here’s how that unfolded, and the story of another superhero in my life! 🙂
In the summer of 2018 my parents spent 6 weeks in the US with us. The plan was for them to continue onwards to London with me and my 2 kids, and then for all of us to vacation in Ireland with my husband and brother-in-law joining us there.
Unfortunately, due to a series of events, my parents had decided to cut their trip short and head back to India at the end of their US leg. My parents reached India safely but Dad had not been feeling well the day of travel. He was keen to get back home and decided to wait to see a doctor soon upon arrival.
Within a few hours of them reaching India, the kids and I had boarded our flight to London!
Fast forward a few hours and 2 super excited kids and I had touched down in London, collected our bags, and were eagerly awaiting our ride i.e. my childhood friend Nidhi. This would be the first time we introduced our kids to each other’s families!
While waiting for Nidhi, I called my sister in India to get an update on Dad’s doc visit. To my shock I discovered that he was admitted to the intensive care unit and the doctor had given him 50-50 chances of pulling through, with the next 72 hours deemed critical.
I knew I needed to be in India with my family ASAP. I also had to figure out how best to manage 2 little kids who were exhausted from their overnight flight. Then there was the more practical matter of not having a valid Indian visa to travel with, which dawned upon me a few minutes later as I was beginning to weigh my options!!! 😦
Thus began a 12 hour (mis)adventure where my friend Nidhi put on her cape, and supported me in the most amazing way!
This woman took charge – drove us home and calmed my nerves on the way. She fed the kids while I spent a long time on the phone with family and friends, occasionally fielding calls for me when I was beginning to lose it. She helped identify the best course of action to get an emergency visa. She gathered her 2 boys from art class and then lead our troop to the Indian Embassy where she figuratively held my hand as I navigated the conversations while choking back tears, distraught at the idea of not being able to make it to India in time.
She made a warm meal and fed us again once home for a mere 0.5 hour, before she drove me to the airport upon her insistence (vs. me taking a cab). She stuffed local currency in my hands so that I would have enough cash on hand for the airports at both London AND India.
Most importantly, she made my 2 young kids feel at home as they stayed overnight with a family they had just met that day, in a country foreign to them, while their mom flew to India and before their Dad could fly in the next morning.
Here’s a picture of the kids on our way to the Indian Embassy. It was beautiful to see how the kids bonded having just met for the first time within the hour!
This is the summary version of the stories that unfolded over what seemed like unending moments. I’m so grateful for the support and roughing it alone would have been so much harder. Thank you, Nidhi! ❤️
My Dad pulled through after a month of medical treatment, and I made it back to home base in the US after 2 weeks in India.
As we ease into 2019, may you all find your heroes who don their capes when you could use that extra bit of support!
And, may we all BE these heroes to someone…
Here’s wishing you all a very happy new year!!! 🙂