When I blow out birthday candles, break a wishbone, throw coins in fountains, or see the first star of the evening, like a child, I close my eyes and make a wish. My wishes are always the same. Of course.
So with a heart full of the most immense gratitude, I can declare that my wishes have all come true, again. Heaving a great sigh, and pulling myself together, I move on with no more worries to beset me. For the next six months, at least.
The wishes of a child are a completely different matter. Make a wish, we tell them on their birthdays, and they close their eyes and wish for fantastical and fabulous and very ordinary things.
If someone offered you a trip, almost anywhere in the world, where would you go? You, being an adult, would probably overthink it, and try to balance your desires with practicality. A child’s heart is most eminently impractical. So when asked this question, by the Children’s Wish Foundation, my son said, without wavering, “I want to go to China.” That’s how our recent trip to Hong Kong came to be.
Our thoughts on what this trip would be took shape over the last six months, as we prepared him for a strange new world. We ate dim sum, and tried to teach him to use chop sticks, (without much success) and read Hong Kong travel books. I forced him to listen to Cantonese phrases over breakfast. And then we all concluded that learning Chinese might just be beyond us, though it pains me to admit it.
The day came – January 1st – and there wasn’t anything to prevent us from boarding the plane, and finally, after being given this wish trip six years ago, we went! It felt right, starting 2017 off on with an epic adventure.
Of course, a week is, practically speaking, too short to fly 15 hours with a 13-hour time shift. Particularly with two young children. (For more on how the little one fared, click here.) We’re not really on speaking terms with being practical though, and despite pretty crazy jet-lag, had an amazing family holiday.
We let Gavin set the schedule and decide on what we were doing every day. We had to rethink certain things that we thought we’d do, like a harbour cruise, in favour of Gavin’s choices, in that instance: a double-decker bus tour. The Bean loved having his own camera and Octopus card in his pocket, and money in his wallet to spend on souvenirs.
We all want to express how grateful we are to Children’s Wish for making his dreams come true. It is really an amazing and fulfilling thing, being part of a wish becoming a reality.
I also want to personally thank all of the absolutely wonderful people I am blessed to count amongst my friends and family – you all are an amazing crowd of cheerleaders who have never let me down, in all these years. The power of your positivity has made many things possible. Sending much love to all!
Tomorrow marks the Chinese New Year, so wishing all a very happy new year and Gung Hay Fat Choy!!