It’s the small things: Hours before our US Trip in 2019

Dear children, 

It’s been a while since our last holiday. I’m not going to lie to you, I’ve been going through the photo gallery on my phone and my mind has drifted back to the East Coast road trip we did in 2019 more times than I’d like to admit. I have been missing it so much! As have you, as you repeatedly told me over dinner these past few weeks. 

It’s funny the things that resound most in my mind when I think of our holidays. It’s rarely the bright lights or flashy sights or even huge events, but the words you say to me often ring so loudly in my ears. As I go through the photo gallery on my phone and scroll through a series of photos of our holiday, it’s almost like I can hear our conversations again, and the moments we share in between those moments; moments I don’t have the photos of. I remember them so well and every time I hear it again in my mind, I scramble to find a place to jot it down, because I know that one day, my memory would have failed me and I will no longer remember. So, please allow me to briefly tell you about a part of my recollection of the small moments we shared; so small that might even seem insignificant and would be easily overlooked, so small I didn’t even bother to take a photo of it, but I want you to know that these small moments were once big ones, that occupied a large space in my heart and mind.

Our flight to New York was at midnight on the 7th of June, 2019. So, the morning of the 6th felt a little bit like Christmas morning. “It’s America Day!” you shouted, as you woke up. I could feel the air of excitement throughout the day. 

We were all packed, so we decided to take that day easy. Daddy, however, hadn’t slept the night before to pack all of the cards he was going to bring with him and crawled into bed for a quick nap, just as you woke up. “I’ll have about 16 hours to sleep during the long haul flight anyway,” he said.

Closer to lunch time, I asked you if you’d like to go to the mall to grab some lunch and maybe walk a little, even though I knew that the only place you wanted to go to was the airport! “Let’s eat something Asian for lunch, Mom. We’ll miss it for the next 3 weeks!”
M2 suggested. Little did he know that we’d be having a whole lot of Chinese food during the trip. 

We chose Sushi Tei, a restaurant that we’d go to if Daddy wasn’t with us. I love it, all three of you love it, but Daddy doesn’t really. As we ate, we went through the plans for the day. “When we get home, gather your things. Check your list to make sure that you have everything. Leave your bags near the door, so you won’t forget anything. Take a shower at 3 pm. We have to leave before 5, ok?” I said to you. We discussed the things we’re most excited about, and came up with various answers, from trying out different foods to visiting the theme parks, and spending time with the big family.

We made a quick stop at the supermarket to grab some local snacks that we can enjoy on the airplane – some cookies, some chips, some packaged fruits for me, and a few boxes of milk. It was a bunch of impulse purchase, really, almost like we were actually trying to kill time.

When we got home, we woke Daddy up. You scrambled into your rooms to check and recheck your carry-on bags. I could hear M3 shout, “Ko, don’t forget your _____” (fill in the blanks here), and a “Oh yeah, right!” from M2 in response. I could see M1 take things out from her bag before putting it back in again. Then, I asked you all of you to get ready. It was the easiest time I ever got you into the shower in our entire life. Amazingly, we were out of the door 30 minutes ahead of schedule! That’s how excited we were! 

I know this isn’t a grand memory, but I want you to know how much I adored those few hours the four of us spent together – just me and the three of you. Even if I don’t have a photo of it. I want you to remember the excitement you felt for the experience you were about to experience, and the sighs for the end of a long period of waiting because we were finally going and that long holiday we’ve been talking about for the past six months was finally happening! 

I hope that you may look forward to every adventure you’ll ever have in your life with such high hopes, with unparalleled excitement, and with every bit of simplistic moments etched in your memories. 

I also need to do better at documenting our small moments. Perhaps I will start by jotting down our US 2019 Trip in detail. Let’s do that in installments, shall we?

I love you, 
Mama

Us in front of the Capitol Building

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