For the trip back

My son is no stranger to flying. Added up, he’s racked up miles close to half the distance from the earth to the moon. Of course, the longest of his many flights, in terms of distance, have been the ones taken during his four visits to India. Each time it has progressively been harder for him to come back.

This time, he cried most of the way back. Ever since his return on Friday, he has guarded the suitcases that came back with him. He will not let us unpack them. He wants to take a a red cab to go back to the airport, and take the “bigger plane” back to India.

I vaguely remember the same feeling. When I first moved to America, I was my son’s age. It was very difficult for me to leave the extended family I had grown up with up until that time. For the first few months, in our Brooklyn apartment, I hid pieces of chocolate and other goodies behind the sofa for the trip back when I would give them to my grandmother. One time, I had safeguarded a banana, which was discovered when it had rotted to a black pulp.

Those memories had been hidden for decades until my son unlocked them.

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