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Suddenly, and with four months’ notice, we are on the cusp of our first overseas family holiday. Before this point, it had seemed like an insurmountable hill to climb.

My oldest child, a sensitive and creative soul, would also, for want of a better phrase, be classified as a ‘Nervous Nelly’. A trip of this magnitude, (only a week in Fiji may I clarify), would once have induced visions of our plane going down in a spiralling inferno, toxic and excruciatingly painful attacks by deadly insects and raging natural disasters swallowing him whole. Thankfully, his only fear now  is being abandoned at the Kids Club whilst I sip margaritas by the pool. Well founded neurosis.

Like chalk to his brother’s cheese, my second son, at four years old, would fly the plane himself if permitted. From the time he could say ‘Kitty Hawk’, he had told anyone who would listen that he was to grow up and be a pilot. It wasn’t until recently that I realised this dream had gone to the dogs. It seems that once he had concluded that being a war pilot would not involve killing the Germans, and that this aspiration had passed its wartime use-by date, it no longer held his interest. Of course, I now question all those hours he was allowed to watch ‘A bridge too far’ and ‘ The Battle of Britain’ at his grandfather’s instigation, but that’s another story.

My third cherub, of one year, will of course deal with the journey in one of two ways. Chew the sick bag for a while and then sleep for the rest, or scream, cry, protest at the noise, throw dummies under neighbouring seats, require passing from lap to lap and generally be a pain.

It is at the point of packing and repacking half the house to embark on this holiday, that one wonders whether it is worth the work. If I were an avid photo taker, as I apparently should be, I would look back at my family albums, full of smiling kiddy moments, and gather the fortitude to pack on. However from memory, no such albums exist.

Note to self: Pack camera. Go to Fiji. Take photos.

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