Family Time: The Conclusion

The next morning was the family’s last day in London.

And before you ask, no, no tears. We’re not into that kind of stuff.

It was simple, really – take a taxi all the way to the airport. Drop off my US grandparents, take my Shanghai grandparents to the other terminal and get them situated after a little bite to eat, and then come back and grab a slightly longer bite to eat with my US grandparents and my parents (only because they had to leave from the same gate), and then leave.

It wasn’t quiet after they left, not really. I mean, I’m pretty used to solitary lifestyles by now, and even though the past two weeks had been kind of on the more…lively side, I still slept by myself almost every night (thanks, parents) and had a couple hours to myself every day (thanks, parents). There was less worrying after they left, though. And for the first time in many years it wasn’t worrying about how much I was going to get yelled at or anything, it was just…less worrying about senior citizens trying to carry super-heavy bags, less worry about how long they would have to wait, how long they would have to stand.

Although to be perfectly honest, I didn’t have to worry as much as my parents had to, so props to them.

It was just…freer. Though not in a “this is better” sense, just…what I’m used to. Been used to. In the most non-depressing way possible.

Before they came, my friends asked if I was excited that essentially my entire family was coming to see me. Like I said before, our family doesn’t really do that mushy-gushy lovey-dovey stuff, so my instinctive reaction was a flat “no”. And I mean, I suppose “excited” wasn’t the right word to describe it. Flattered that I attracted six people from different sides of the globe to London, yes. Honored that they would go through all the trouble to see me, yes. Looking to take advantage of a chance to spend some quality time with my grandparents that I may not have in the future due to increasingly busy work schedules and decreasing physical mobility, yes.

But excited? Probably not. I wasn’t giddy that my family was coming, I was just quietly content.

Which is a good thing.

But in retrospect, despite now not having enough time to do as much as I wanted to do in Europe, trave-wise, I don’t regret my decision to spend the entire time with my family. I mean, I could spend months just backpacking through Europe, literally, and still not be able to see everything I want to see. If I had those four weeks without interruption in March, and used every single day to the max, I would have a lot more blog posts, and a lot more pictures, yes, but I wouldn’t have even started to scratch the surface of everything I want to see in Europe. It’ll be like the Sparknotes version.

Not eve, at least the Sparknotes give you some idea of what the story’s about, it would be like saying Harry Potter is just “A book about a boy.”

I guess my point is that despite “losing” two weeks of travel time and despite what seemed, at the time, and sometimes now, if I’m perfectly honest, like a sacrifice, I don’t believe that down the road I’m going to ever regret spending time with people who have limited amounts of it.

And you know, I had never spent time with my grandparents before. I mean, sure, I go to Shanghai every summer and see my grandparents, and my US grandparents come to New Jersey every few weeks when I was in high school (now too, I’m assuming?) and I loved them and they…well. Sort of vain to say they did the same, right? Haha I have issues. But it was always on a “Aw, my grandma’s so cute and she cooks well” kind of way, never delving much into the person who was my grandma or grandpa. And I know that’s kind of assuming, since after two weeks, what do I really know about you? I still don’t know anything about your childhood or history or anything like that, and when we talk, it’s always about me, never about them, but I’d like to think that I have a better sense of who my grandparents are now. And you know, they’re pretty cool.

Which is nice.

And…then there were my parents. They were just kinda there. :P

Haha, but at the end of the day, grandmas are still grandmas…this is what was left in my pockets after both of them kept slipping food and candy to me the entire time at the airport. Oh, grandmas.

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