We Stay Together

I was a bundle of mixed emotions as the plane ascended into the skies from Shannon airport, Ireland; nervous, excited, anxious. Here I was alone on a full jumbo jet with my 4 and 5 year old boys heading on my first foreign holiday to USA completely responsible for them. Some had told me I was completely mad to be doing this without my husband but something in me told me I had to do this. This was all my choice, all my decisions, all responsibility on me. These two lively boys were the full focus of my eyeballs, head and heart for the next week and as I sat on the seat buckled with seat belt sign still on, plane heading up to the oblivion, all I heard was my 5 year old’s super loud voice exclaiming ‘IT’S OUT’!

I did not know what havoc my eyes were about to meet as I slowly turned my head to the left with a million flashes of what could be out! His seat belt, his sock, his books, his … his first tooth! The look of wide-eyed pride on his bleeding face with this tiny piece of enamel in his hand met the smiles of all the other passengers around us at FlyBy.

The relief! This little tooth represented the end to so much worry, upset, tears, grief, attempted choking and prevention in normal eating habits for my 5 year old. In truth, it represented what I was also leaving behind as we flew up into the skies; all my worries, futai maxim feelings of trapped, unhappiness, deep fear. I too left behind all this as I embraced this adventure which would symbolise so much more than what I could ever have imagined on that 6 hour flight to New York.

At the arrivals, I bundled my two little traveller mates and delivered a mantra which we subconsciously use to this day… ‘we stay together’. I told them, if one wants to go to the toilet, we all go. If one wants to go to the shop, we all go. If one wants to stop at slot machines, we all stop. If one wants to stop for rest, we all stop. It worked a dream and my way of managing these two wild boys in a foreign land with so many distractions became easy. I was breezing it. I arrived at the car hire desk to pick up the car, but with my newfound sense of freedom and adventure I upgraded to my dream car…a big jeep. Yes, I am not a fancy convertible lire more lady. I learned to drive a tractor before I drove a car and I always wanted a big jeep to drive. I was told it was an automatic which I had no clue how to drive but I didn’t let it hinder my enthusiasm. I asked for basic instructions which became a new mantra inside my head on how to drive an automatic. More details moved here.

Off the three amigos went to find our new carriage and it didn’t disappoint, it was huge. Remembering that everything in the USA is supersized, so much so that I had to lift the two boys up into the back seats as they had no hope of mounting on their own. I also felt like I was doing everything counter intuitive as this was a left wheel drive and my conditioning told me this felt all wrong but that I actually needed to get over myself to make it work. So many lessons hitting my straight in the face and I knew that in order to survive all this, I had to adapt, change and embrace the newness. I set up the sat nav to guide us, strapped us all in safely and looked in the rear view mirror to be met with the biggest double set of blue eyes of trust and love. I blessed myself and tried to turn on the car. No go! I called over an attendant in the car park who announced that I was actually in the wrong jeep. He didn’t appreciate the nervous humour I saw in the situation, so we made our way to the actual jeep which was even more impressive. All aboard once again and checked rear view mirror and now the eyes had widened saucer-size to hopeful excitement as we pulled out of the car park.

It all felt surreal. So effortless. We were drifting along obeying a voice on a little gadget with an American accent. My first time ever driving an automatic on the wrong side of the road! It was absolutely crazy plus two little boys to care for in the back seat of a monstrous vehicle. I giggled at my achievements on the inside. All one hundred percent my decisions as I manoeuvred onto the crazy highway. I used to watch US TV as a child and always thought the fly overs and unders with all the traffic was just madness and here I was in the middle of those highways being guided by a voice on a sat nav, not manually driving this big machine but actually feeling like it was all so easy and in flow. I had two happy boys nice and relaxed with excited tones in their voices in the back and I managed to find some music on the radio. Bravo me. I could do this. I could find my way in a foreign land. As we pulled into the hotel car park, we gave ourselves a big clap for being so brave to reach our destination. I felt so proud and actually a little invincible. I was floating. 

The boys wanted to make a wish of theirs come through so we ordered pizza to be delivered to the hotel room and to eat on the bed just like Garfield the cat in the cartoon. This was their request, so I dressed them in their new pjs and we were getting excited for the pizza man delivery when out of nowhere my 4 year old projectile vomited on the wall and carpet! I didn’t see that coming! Back into real mammy mode cleaning and caring and it was clear he had picked up some bug. Pizza arrived to the room as anticipated with the wonderful aroma camouflaging the smell of vomit only to be met with my 5 year old projectile vomiting in the bathroom. Great! Here I was with boxes of pizza in this confined space and only me to eat them. It was 6 am the next morning when mommy got sick but at least that was it out of us and then time to focus on recovery.

I thought to myself, lets have an easy day and make sure all our energy looked after. I was mid-way through my reiki master teacher programme and knew this was the universe giving me plenty case studies to work on in this foreign environment so I gave lots of energy balancing treatments for the three of us over the coming days to help overcome this bug. It worked. I had handled that swimmingly. Check me out.

We actually had such a lovely week. We managed to get over the jet lag by cuddling up in the one bed the mornings and watching cartoon nice and cozy before getting dressed for our daily adventure. I took the boys to every playground we came across and so many museums for children. Driving the jeep on the left-hand side became second nature and I was very comfortable and relaxed piloting my little crew around the place so much so that I decided to reward myself on the last day with a trip to the mall. Now, my boys are typical boys…do not like shopping, zero patience…so this was a big step. I kept repeating the mantra ‘we stay together’ and incorporating plenty stops for food, the shopping trip was actually a massive success. I got loads of bargains and shopped until I dropped with a 4 and 5 year old with me…completely unheard of.

The overall holiday was a complete success. I felt so free and relaxed. I could breathe easy. I had the lives of two little boys completely dependent on me and my every decision and it felt so right. We not only survived, we thrived and had so much fun together. A little voice in my head told me, I can do this.

I didn’t know it then but just two weeks later after arriving home, I would be separated. The word separated brings so many replies from others of ‘you poor thing’, ‘oh I am sorry to hear that’ but honestly it was the biggest relief of my life. All the worries, fearful emotions and thoughts, uneasiness, trapped … just like that little tooth were removed, extracted, pulled and in the space that remained was freedom, relief and happiness. I was with my two boys and ‘we stay together’.

Love and Light xxx

** Written exactly 9 years after the holiday **

@bellathebutterflylove belinda@bellathebutterfly.ie

Share this post