My parents are coming this week to visit. The magnitude of these types of visits / occasions are directly correlated to the distance and frequency of our actual get-togethers. In this case, the magnitude is relatively big because we see them once a year at most and it is a twelve-hour flight to get from San Diego to London. Prior, when I was living in Hong Kong and in the process of moving to London, I had thought I was actually moving closer to home. Turns out all three cities are about equidistant from each other.
In advance of this trip, there’s been a lot of back and forth about what to bring us. I’ve learned over the years to just tell my mom some snack I actually would eat otherwise she’ll default to some food I liked in my childhood. It’s sweet she remembers but tastebuds change. Your mom is learning about this process and I’m doing my best to coach her through it.
It has made it a bit easier since we got Kili, who your grandmother effectively views as her grandchild. She has already gone to pet stores and snapped photos of a few outfits and toys to see if we had a preference. We think Kili has enough toys as it is, but knowing my mom, she’s just going to get something anyway, so we chose some embarrassing ones. Lucky for you, because that could’ve been your embarrassing stuff!
There’s some apprehension your mother and I won’t be able to keep them entertained, so the ongoing debate has been whether to spring for a TV license so they can watch local cable. This is how grave the situation is.
Can we trust them to get around London on their own? Maybe…they did live in London for fourteen years, and my dad has often qualified statements (about what we should do in London) with this point. The only problem is that was back in the 70’s and things have changed a tad in the past forty-odd years. However, Foyles, your grandfather’s favorite bookstore, is still around and it has also become my favorite bookstore (perhaps it’ll be yours too!).
So what will we do? I imagine it’ll be some shopping, my parents falling asleep when we watch a movie, me getting a haircut from my dad, eating chips and popcorn, and my mother prying whatever she can out of us about our lives here. Funny thing is, that’s what it was like ten years ago and probably how it will be for years to come.