8 Aug

Family Closeness: How Do You Bridge Two Continents?

Six. Weeks. My in-laws visited for six weeks!

Linda, Ari, Tata, Bob, Xavier, Camille, Mama-- Stone Hill Winery Herman June 2013 (1)

My two reactions:

1) Yay! I’ll have extra help and I can, thank you God, actually leave the house without a kid and an infant. Which equals freedom to write, freedom to visit friends, freedom to go grocery shopping without a million requests for snacks or toys.

2) Oh. That means I’m in charge of anticipating and fulfilling the needs of two extra people. And I don’t want to take advantage of them by leaving them with the kids too much. Okay, now I’m stressed.

So I oscillated back and forth between these two viewpoints, but for the most part existed somewhere in a balanced place.

Long visits like that aren’t really common in the US of A, but when you have an international family (and traveling between opposite sides of the world takes 36 hours PLUS plane tickets cost thousands of dollars) they are necessary. When I visited my sister in Australia, we visited for five weeks, with a two-week jaunt to Malaysia and Bali. Whenever we visit Malaysia, we go for three weeks because that’s the max vacation time Sudhagar can get.

So what do you do for six weeks to keep the entire family happy?

Amah and Ayah (Telegu for Mom and Dad) never visited America, so we decided to show them our home state of Missouri, exploring:

The Columns on the Quad at Mizzou with Tata, Mama, Ari, Xavier, Sudhagar July 2013 (2)

Above: Columbia–The Quad at University of Missouri

Mama, Tata, Xavier Union Station Kansas City, MO July 2013 (4)

Above: Kansas City–Union Station

STL Botanical Gardens Mama, Tata, Xavier,  June 2013 (1)

Above: Saint Louis–Botanical Gardens

What really occurred during these six weeks is we got to connect as a family: laughing, playing, loving, talking, crying (when we said our good-byes). And we don’t get to do that on the same continent very often. Overall, it was a good trip.

Tulsa Aquarium July 2013-Camille, Tata, Ari, Xavier, Mama

Now the house is very quiet. Ari cries from separation anxiety whenever I leave the room because she’s used to two extra sets of arms to hold her. Xavier starts Kindergarten next week and he’ll have to tell Mama and Thathaya (Grandma and Grandpa) about his five-year-old adventures via Skype. Sudhagar and I have been inundated with housework, because–as Joni Mitchell says–you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.

We miss you guys. We love you guys. Until next time, we’ll Skype.

Camille Faye | Author of Voodoo Butterfly | Coming Fall 2014

Experience love, purpose, and the paranormal in New Orleans.


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  • WOW!! Blog is quite good. Felt like reading a life fiction true story kinda story book except that its real life true veryy very true story… 😀 Feelin proud on behalf of Amah and Ayah because you have their pictures uploaded..Thumbs up babe.Wish to read more of your stories.Interesting.If its a book,im sure it would be a page turner..Keep us posted mydear.. ♥♥

    • Thanks, Nithiya. Now our blog’s gone international!!! We really had a good trip and I’ve been sifting through all the photos which makes me miss them even more. I’m glad our kids got to spend time with them and I hope Amah and Ayah have good memories from the different experiences here :)

  • It seems like the family dynamic has changed over time. The long distance family relationship is becoming more and more common. I love reading about your personal experience and how you handled it. Not only is this an inspiration but it is encouraging to know that you can make it work. I can’t wait to read more!

    • Thanks for reading, Jessie! You also know about those long distance families :) Hope you’re enjoying your life in the glamorous Big Apple.

  • Wow! You must be exhausted. I understand exactly how you feel. It is awesome to have family so close (for few weeks, of course) I hope they had fun :)

    • Thanks for stopping by, amiga :) Yep, you know how those international/long distance visits can be with your peeps in Mexico. We are still trying to recover from that trip, because everything just got thrown on a pile to deal with after they left. Gimme another week or two and I’ll be in good shape. Hope to see you and Gigi soon.

  • Hello Spirit Lady!

    Loved this post. :) I love your photos of how you showed them Missouri–and what an exciting adventure for your kids, too. Plus–thank God for Skype, right? :) AND I love your thoughts. I would have had exactly the same ones.

    • You know what I’m saying Sandwich Lady!! And Skype is awesome. Love it so much. It’s allowed me to get back with the Lit Ladies after all :)

  • You don’t realise what you got ’til it’s gone, indeed. For the past five years I’ve, quite literally, lived on the other side of the world from all of my family and life long friends and there isn’t a minute in my day where I didn’t wish I could just simply give my sister a hug, crawl into my mom’s arms for a cry, call my dad up for advice or simply call my best friend up for a chat. So, I say to you, “well done, Lady” because while most would stress, you were grateful and graceful! Very inspiring and may we all learn to simply be grateful for what we have when we have it, even if it may be a bit daunting at times.

    • Aww…thanks Miranda Rose. Hey everybody, this is my sister from Australia and she is right. Calling does become difficult with the difference in time zones b/c many times she’s sleeping when I want to Skype and vice versa.

  • Love the pictures, Spirit Lady, glad you all had such a great time!

    • Thanks, Little Lady.

  • Family is the best. They give so much love and can drive you completly insane at the same time :). I am blessed to have all of my family and in-laws in one state. I couldn’t imagine living across the world, ha – I couldn’t imagine living across the river! Glad you had a great time.

    • Every situation has its challenges, huh. Yep, we grew up on a hobby farm with: four kids, chickens, cats, dogs, cattle, rabbits, a goose (and the neighbors had horses and ostriches). Needless to say, it was a zoo around our house with all of us running around.

  • Sounds like a great visit. I’m like Busy Lady, can’t imagine being separated from family. But it sounds like you all have found a way to make it work.

    • Hey, maybe I should write a book about this and share what I know. LOL!

So, what do you think?