So, my husband and I have been checking for plane tickets to get to the US this summer. It's been 2 years since we've all been back, and it's time to make the trek to old haunts. We've been checking prices for about a eyar now, and they are just unbearably high at the moment. And when I finally asked Erwin if we were going to go and fork out the dough or not, his reply was the following: Well, do you want a trip to visit your parents or a new car?
NO FAIR!! I want it all!!! I want the security of being back in the throes of childhood, having mommy and daddy hand me my every whim on a plate. Watching my boys bond with their grandparents as they play in the woods that was once my very own playground. As they stick quarters in the crane game and the immense smiles that ensue after they have won a cheap stuffed bear. I want that feeling of family, my family, to surround me and make me feel special and safe and loved. I want to enjoy the clear, blue skies, feel the thunderstorms that evolve every afternoon, glance into the distance and see the Rocky Mountains staring back at me in their peaceful glory. I want to look into the night sky and see millions of stars, and walk into my parents store to be greeted by each of the regulars as if I have never left. But come on, a car??? Something that can help me complete errands, enjoy visits to friends, make it possible to spend more fun days out with my kids, maybe even assist in finding a job I could actually get to without hours on the bus...give me freedom!
Anyway, I made my choice. I purchased our plane tickets a couple days back. They won't get me to my parents, but they will get me across the Atlantic, entering customs where the American flag hangs with a sign Welcoming me to America...welcoming me HOME. The kids and I will be flying out July 2 in time to enjoy a true 4th of July celebration in the country where it is most meaningful. We will have made it 1/2 way across the US and I'm still looking for solutions to complete the necessary arrangements to make it to those tall and magnificent Rocky Mountains...but stopping off in Chicago gives me a great reason to visit my grandparents, spend some time enjoying stories from the past, letting them spoil their little greats, just being present. This means a great deal to me...my grandparents are aging (gracefully, but still aging), and you just never know when the last visit could be...
So, we forked out $3300 for 3 tickets half-way home...makes sense, huh? Erwin will come later, hopefully booking himself a ticket with frequent flyer miles, and I'll eventaully tie up all those loose knots as to how I will get home. But even as my excitement over this new adventure passes through my body, I'm still regretting not getting a car. Dang...what's more important? Freedom or Family? Freedom or Family? I guess in my heart of hearts the answer is clear...as soon as it was offered, I went in search of the fastest way home, to my family, to my playground, to my majestic, peaceful mountains. Unfortunately, the fastest way is not in a car.