As promised, I’m going to spend some time this month looking back at trips I took not as a parent, but as a child. In this case, it was as an adult child in the year before I got pregnant with Tommy. I tagged along as my father returned to India for the first time since his stint there in the Peace Corps before I was born. These photos come from the village where he and my mother lived for several years in the late 1960s. We were greeted like celebrities with crowds of children following us everywhere. People came out on roofs to see us:
And asked us for our autographs. This is a picture of my father and stepmother signing composition books and scraps of paper.
We were welcomed to the village in an absolutely unquestioning way, welcomed into homes my father hadn’t seen in over thirty years, given food and friendship wherever we turned.
I’ve got more to write about this trip, about going to a place that was formative in my father’s life and seeing him interact with the culture as easily and naturally as if he’d never left. But that’s going to have to wait for another day. For now I’m content to share the warmth and joy in these boy’s faces, boys who are now teenagers, living in a world that is more dangerous and less certain. And yet somehow I think we’d get the same greeting if we went there today. I’d like to bring my own boys to see.