I do quite a bit of travelling, whether it is to visit friends or attend courses. And quite often, I have to take the train. It goes without saying that no matter how old you get or how independent you are, parents never cease worrying about you. They’ll always see it as their little 5 year-old taking the train by herself, dragging a humongous suitcase that is twice her size and impossible to lift (I’m a girl, what can I say?). To ease their worries, I always try to take an early train so I arrive at my destination in the daytime when it is still bright. But one day I had no choice but to take a later train that would arrive at night.
As usual, my parents had plenty to say.
Now make sure you keep very warm, wear many layers, don’t forget your thermals, boots, scarf, gloves and hat. (Would there be a chance I’d suffer from heatstroke in the winter?) Bring some food and water in case you get hungry on the train. (She knows her daughter eats constantly.) Make sure you pack enough clothes and don’t forget to buy good thermal socks, they’ll keep you warm. (The obsession with thermals!) Might want to buy some ear muffs too. (Bless her, she’s even worried about my ears!) Be careful and very observant because you’re arriving so late and it’s dark. (Yes, yes.) And make sure you bring a flashlight with you so you can see where you’re going. (Mom, really. A flashlight?)
Dad had a few things to say himself.
Make sure you haven’t forgotten to pack anything. (I probably have, but let’s hope it’s not important.) Do you have your tickets? (Oh wait, where are they?) Make sure you have your phone and it’s not on silent. (I know, I know – tracking device in disguise.) Remember to text when you get on the train, when the train leaves the station, when it arrives at the other end and when you get into your accomodation. (It’s almost as if I would get lost somewhere in between my journey. Clearly, he has no faith in my sense of direction.)
Just as I was about to rush off, dad hands me a surprise. Here’s some packed food to eat on the train, it’s your favourite – duck! So sweet, I love you. I finally got on the train, which was full and I didn’t have much space in front of me. But who cares, I wanted to dive into my food!
YUM. Though it looks quite a lot for a packet of duck rice. I dig in anyway.
Waaaait a minute. This is not duck rice, it’s aromatic duck wraps! When dad said ‘duck’ I thought it was an easy-to-eat pack of duck rice. No wonder he said it was my favourite because I love duck wraps. But how was I going to eat it without any space in front of me? The people who packed it had also kindly forgotten to give me a spoon, fork or chopsticks. Great.
I sat there for the entire journey, the smell of aromatic duck just taunting me until I started to feel incredibly hungry. I was slightly agitated. Why, why couldn’t it just have been a pack of whatever rice (that I could easily eat!)?
Because parents always want the best for their kids. And sometimes, they just love you too much. It’s why they pack your favourite food instead of something mediocre and tell you to take a flashlight with you. And though you will never understand what goes through a parent’s mind (until you become a parent yourself), and even though sometimes they succeed in driving you crazy without even trying, it’s why I want to keep them with me forever. In the words of the lovely Jenn Besonia, this is why I would “never swap my parents for two goldfish.” Sometimes we just have to see the humour in their ways, just like they see the humour in ours. After all, having seen the kids my parents had to put up with, they certainly deserve an award – I’m talking more about my sister here *look of innocence (followed by a cheeky grin)*.
I did get to enjoy my duck wraps later though.
See why it would be impossible to eat on the train?
Delicious. Definitely beats my own cooking.
And it turns out, the weather became a lot worse so mom was right about the thermals after all. The flashlight? Not so much.
How can we not love them?