A very dear and respected friend wrote to me this week, and ended his letter with an invitation to join him in India. He is getting older, and I worry that each visit he makes to India- and each letter I get from him- may be his last. You know I would totally get a ticket and go, if I had the money.
The invitation included the boys.
I read it, and re-read it, and turned it over. How much I wanted to be taking the boys to India now! The boys are old enough for the trip to really mean something to them, to be a watershed moment of their lives, for good or ill. But life has intervened on my plans. I am just now getting a full-time gig, and it isn't a permanent one (its a year-to-year contract- the new "trend" in academia). And then there are the boys' needs- Joey and heat don't mix well, and there is one thing India is- hot. Even in the coolest part of the year- which would them bring in the problem of crowds- it would be, for Joey, hot. Not to mention the new, the unexpecteed the unpredictability, and the shear overwhelming different-ness of India...
But I also know my friend has a child of his own, now grown, with special needs every bit as great as Joey's. I don't know if he has ever taken his child to India, but somehow, I suspect he has.
And he invited my boys to go to India. What an opportunity, to have my boys be in India with my friend and I, and exploring India...
So I put it to them: would you like to go to India some day? Not today. Not this summer. But someday. And Joey came back without skipping a beat, " Yes!"
Andy put in some rambling no-ness, which was distracting. Had I really heard Joey say he wanted to go to India? Did he understand what it meant? We talked about India being a different part of the world, a different country, and what travel might mean- a long airplane ride (my kids have never been on an airplane), a stop in London (they love their London Olympics video game, so I thought this might perk interest from Andy), and... the heat.
"Yes," Joey chimed in cheerily. "I would like to go to India!"
That's my boy. I know what I'm saving up for this year. And we may not go this year, or next. There are a lot of challenges to be met and considered. I know there will be challenges we won't think about until they appear before us. But Joey wants to go to India. You know I need to make that happen.