We are going home to visit our family – finally!
We have been living in an unsettled world for the past eight months. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world, our lives, the way we live, travel and communicate – possibly forever.
After having to cancel two trips home to Southern California this year, we are finally going home to visit our kids and precious grandsons Isaac and Oliver. Isaac is now 4 years old and Oliver will be 2 years old in November. We have been watching them grow up though the magic of technology using WhatsApp on our mobile phones. My philosophy has been that as long as they are all healthy and safe in the USA and Steve and I are healthy and safe in France I can deal with the separation from each other.
More than 8 months later we had to make a decision to protect our mental and emotional health as well as our physical health and take the “risk” of flying home to be with our family again. We know that there are many people all over the world dealing with this same dilemma. We arranged a few family talks to go over the risks and benefits of our flying home, and in the end we have all agreed that Steve & I should fly home – taking all of the precautions – mask, goggles and face shield and antiseptic wipes and gel – you get the picture.
Our kids’ concern was our health and safety, the risk that we were taking moving through 2 airports and being on the airplane for more than 11 hours. Our concern was to keep all of them safe once we arrive (they have been self-isolating since March). They have not been in a store – everything gets delivered to the house. After a few family phone conversations of exchanging thoughts and ideas, we came up with this workable plan:
When we land at LAX airport in Los Angeles, we are renting a car and driving to our family home, where our family will be waiting for us outside in the front garden. We will get out of the car and say “Hi” from a distance to let Isaac and Oliver see that we are really there in person, give them their goodie bags of some treats from France as well as some toys and books, and let them talk with us for a short time before we leave to go to return the rental car and stay at a hotel for the night.
The next day Steve and I will drive to Palm Desert near Palm Springs to our Marriott Timeshare Resort and spend the next 10 days self-isolating before we head back to our family home and stay with them throughout the holidays.
For the past month, we have played a game with Isaac and Oliver of counting down the days until Bubbie and Papa come home. Then we had to explain to Isaac our plan for when we arrive home. Children are so adaptable and accepting of the situation as long as you talk about it with them and explain it to them in a way that they can understand. On our next WhatsApp call I can finally tell Isaac and Oliver that Bubbie and Papa are coming home “the day after tomorrow”. Now he only needs to hold up two fingers on his hand. Then on tomorrow’s call just one finger. They are so excited as are we to be going home – Finally.