Monday, May 19, 2008

A Family Affair

In the beginning of May, we took our first cross country trip out to LA to see the other half (or 2/3rds) of the Horowitz Clan.
The occasion was Chloe's Bat Mitzvah. My first niece, who was born just 2 months before I left for India was actually turning 13. As mind-bending as that is for all of us, to know Chloe is to know that she far surpassed everyone's expectations long ago.

I can't say I was thrilled to be traveling with the baby again. After the Hong Kong debacle, I was not looking forward to more plane travel. But I planned to spend ten days out there and in addition to seeing family, also made a plan to see Brooke and her family who just moved to San Diego and Stef who was going to fly in from SF. It was an ambitious plan, for sure, but I thought I'd be able to handle it all in stride. That was until I pulled my neck (maybe pinched a nerve or two) and began a long haul to recovery. It never crossed my mind to cancel the trip. I had so many people to see and so desperately wanted them all to see my gorgeous girl. Then the pain got worse, not better. It took a near intervention by Jeff, Carol and my parents to rethink my plan. It became clear that I was not going to be able to handle this 20 pound wonder on my own on a 6 hour flight. I needed help, and lots of it. Begrudgingly, and with sadness, I told my friends I was not going to make it to San Diego. (Stef had already changed her ticket twice. I felt really badly about that.) I also had to tell the family that I would be flying in for a quick visit; three days. Just enough time to see all the Bat Mitzvah activities.

I changed my ticket to fly out and back with Jeff. Honestly, without him, I have no idea how I could have done it all. I think that part of me felt I could do anything after the 20 hour trip home from Vietnam. That was until I hurt my neck. Then I needed help, and lots of it. I also needed to learn how to ask. No small task.

The weekend itself was a whirlwind of activity. Chloe was a stellar student of the Torah and made all of us very proud to be related to her. Her party was a wonder of LA style, impeccably planned and beautifully executed. Chloe honored me as someone special in her life by asking me to add a flower to her special vase. That was lovely moment. I took off my neck brace for the occasion and hugged her with abandon.

Phoebe had fun being passed around by friends and relatives. She was happy to see her Aunt Jane again and really took to Whitey too. It's so nice for me to see the bond growing between Jane and Phee. How cool it is that they will have each other in their lives.

I hope we'll be able to go back soon and spend some more time with our cousins, Aunts, Uncles and friends. Hopefully, my neck will continue to improve and soon enough I'll be back in my travelers groove.

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