I was in London when I received the email, a PR company was organising a bloggers tour with Turkish Airlines. I forwarded the itinerary onto G. I knew immediately that it would float his boat, the itinerary included a tour of a aircraft hanger and flight simulator.
“I’m not sure if I should go, it’s only 2 weeks after London” I wrote in the subject line.
“Well if you don’t go – I’m going” was G’s reply.
I knew he was right. Not going would have been stupid, but losing two weekends with the kids in one month felt, well, I’m not sure how it felt, not wrong, but just not right.
On the evening that I was leaving I took the longest time to pack. I felt like I’d swallowed cement, I was tired and the second little traveller wasn’t going to sleep. Nothing felt right, even the weather was wrong, it rained nonstop and there was lightening in the sky.
“If there’s lightening will they cancel your flight?” she asked as I walked her back to her room for the third time.
“I’ll miss you” I said as I kissed her on the forehead.
“Don’t forget to bring me back something” she replied.
I’ve felt completely out of whack on this trip. The contradiction of being a mother of four means that often when things feel like they’re out of control, they’re not at all, you’re actually holding all the power and control everything. Mealtimes, outings, pick ups, shopping lists and invitations. My decisions. I choose when and what we’ll eat, what we’ll go to, what time we’ll leave and arrive.
I have no control on this trip.
I arrived and waited to be found. I waited for the bus. I waited for breakfast. I waited for my hotel room to be ready. I waited to be told where we were going next. As plans changed and new people were introduced to the mix I found myself getting quieter, I scrolled through the first little traveller’s Instagram feed to look at pictures of her and her siblings. Today at lunch I pushed play accidentally on a video she’d recorded with the fourth little traveller, he was squealing, loudly. His squeal stopped the conversation of the group around me.
“That’s my son” I said with a mix of guilt and pride. I offered up a picture of my daughter, “here’s my eldest, I love this picture of her”. As the words rolled out of my mouth I realized how sad I sounded.
The city is beautiful and Istanbul has so much to offer but my mind is full of them. What they’d like, what they’d enjoy, if only they were here.
I sound spoilt don’t I? I am. I am spoilt, that’s the problem. I have too much.
I sent a message to the first little traveller. “Missing you terribly”.
“Miss you too but Dad’s making brownies so I’m not in tears :-)” she replied.
I smiled slowly.
Surrender the control Kirsty.
G’s making brownies.
I’m in Turkey.
Spoilt with too much to miss.