Our little girl was asked to be a flower girl in my cousin’s wedding. In the Philippines. And Ed didn’t have enough vacation hours to make the trip.
So, on Dec 7, 2016, Isla and I took the more-than-half-a-day trip in a glorified tin can by ourselves FOR THE FIRST TIME.
I had to make sure I packed only one suitcase for both of us. With her stroller on top of the suitcase, I wheeled the whole thing through airport check-in while she was strapped in front of me and her diaper bag on my back. It would have been nice if a stranger offered help, but I was able to manage (the people in Davao City, Philippines are different, though. They don’t ask you if you need help. They just immediately help you with your stuff! Bless them.)
I had these visions (or nightmares, if you will) of Isla’s first intercontinental trip – tantrums thrown while on the plane; food getting thrown and landing on people’s heads; diaper blowouts; missing our connecting flight. Those kinds of stuff. I was pleasantly surprised that none of those visions came true! Isla was such a darling during the flight. She didn’t scream (except for that one time before takeoff from JFK when she needed to nurse and I had to stow our stuff in the overhead bin), and she didn’t throw any tantrum. She just watched her favorite nursery rhyme videos on my iPad or watched an in-flight movie. If you didn’t pass by our seat, you wouldn’t even know I had a toddler with me. Hihi! I was lucky! And I’m so proud of how behaved she was during our flights.
While we were in the Philippines, she mostly clung to me for security and comfort. The new environment and the many relatives who wanted to hug and kiss her were too overwhelming for her. She did play with some of our relatives, if you count holding hands with them while dancing to karaoke songs (while I carried her). We took her to two different zoos – The Philippine Eagle Foundation and Crocodile Park. We took her to the beach, which she absolutely loved! The best part of the trip is spending time with my parents and my two aunts whom I haven’t seen since 2012.
I’m so glad I was able to bring Isla to our Motherland. Sure, she’s too young to remember anything, but we have many pictures to show her. And this definitely won’t be her last trip.