Friday, February 11, 2005

Calling Home

One particular telephone conversation I had with my children sticks in my memory from while I was away. God, how I missed them. 13 told me “I don’t mean to be horrible or anything mum, but I don’t miss you at all, things are going really well”. (Guess he wasn’t interested in me bringing him home any presents from overseas) When I spoke to 15, his voice was thick with emotion, he missed me and hearing him say that made my heart ache and want to leap down the phone, hold him close and tell him everything’s going to be alright. I had received an email from him the day before, he was venting about school and what was happening at home…he ended it with “You better be having a good time over there or I’m going to hospitalise myself with a non-stick fry pan”. Hence the phone call.

I knew they would be alright without me. They’re sensible young men, with a sound knowledge of right and wrong, and I’d left them in the capable hands of their father. Saying that, I had a fear I may return to find them swilling pints of beer down in less than 30 seconds and belching out the alphabet in unison.

As much as I had a terrific time, my mind continued to drift to my children at home and how things were going for them….I expect that this is not uncommon for parents travelling without their offspring. There were so many things I’d seen that I knew both my boys would be fascinated with. The light show in old Vegas, the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, not to mention just the huge size of these places and what the rest of you would see as ordinary everyday things, us kiwis are standing around gob-smacked at the differences.

Before I left NZ I hunted high and low to find myself an autograph book. You know the ones that were extremely popular with the school kids in the 70/80s? Took me a while, but I found one. During my trip overseas, I had planned to get little anecdotes and signatures from my online friends, and whoever else that I came across that interested me. Well, we first arrived at LA Airport, who should I happen to spy across the way? the one and only Eric Estrada (minus his uniform and motorbike of course). Now I’m not big on chasing ‘stars’ for their autographs, but hell, this was too good an opportunity to pass up, and I eventually approached him and very politely said “Excuse me Sir, could I have your autograph?” He said something to the affect of “Of course Darlin” and we chatted about NZ while he wrote something in my book. Quite frankly, I wasn’t that interested in what he’d written, I was still feeling all dreamy about the fact that this man, who had been pinned up on my bedroom wall when I was a young girl, had called me darling.

After that, I had various people sign in my book, not the least of which were those that I enjoyed company with in Vegas and elsewhere. (The bus driver to the Grand Canyon wrote that I was the best passenger on his tour – that was after a whole lot of encouragement and smiling from me). Pat even wrote that she’d never enjoyed being called names so much. I’m going to treasure this book forever, it has all my online friends that I’ve met in person, plus the man we sat next to on the flight to Vegas, and a couple of the dealers at the casino, not to mention the man from Pittsburgh that made a lot of money from my rolling debut on the craps table and more.

With all these wonderful people in my book, the entries that I treasure the most are the two on the very first page. And these are the ones from my children. One of which ends with “...and make sure you don’t forget about us”. (Do I need to tell you that was from 15?.)

I'm off to bed...I do believe I've blogged myself out for the day.
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