I read on a bumper sticker after emerging from a Colorado snowstorm that Motherhood is the shortest and steepest path to Enlightenment. If true, my date with Nirvana has been reserved.
Somehow it’s the mustache and the heat that I remember but most importantly that pale blue sundress my daughter wore while she fiercely negotiated with a customs agent, our departure from India some years ago.
We were stuck in the Passport Hall in the Bangalore Airport. Good old Hippy Mama aka Mum/ me had overseen one major detail: We had overstayed our visas. Indeed, Hippy Mama had flaked big time. There was nothing to say.
‘Yes, sorry Madame, you will need to proceed to the fines department to settle this matter…’ I knew the Regal Mustache was right. Mr. Kumar stood there looking at me, his eyes begging me for explanation.
‘And where is that department,’ I imagined a secluded, air-conditioned section of the airport where I could quickly handle the matter, drink something refreshing, and quickly change a swelling diaper.
‘In the city Madame,’ twisting the tips of his authoritative mustache, ‘it is open Monday till Friday except on public holiday.’ It was Thursday and some Hindu God was being celebrated the next day. With more than a hundred thousand Gods needing worship, Hippy mama and her babes might never leave.
My son, still just one year old, was in diapers. Not recommended for any kind of tropical heat. His smelly sagging, poopy diaper was now forming a toxic cloud about to take over the Bangalore airport.
Then, in the land of Miracles, something quite miraculous happened. My 3 ½ year old, sitting elegantly in her pale blue sundress perched upon the custom officers desk and began to explain why her hippy mama had overlooked such an important detail, ’You see,’ (I almost could distinguish an Indian accent and a tiny blonde head bobbing back and forth), ‘ My mama was so busy doing Downward dog that she totally forgot, Oh Please, Mr. Officer Kumar, please let us go home.’ Aside: Imagine Puss n Boots when his eyes plead for forgiveness.
Well little Miss Grace and Mr. Kumar went at it for about twenty minutes. A proper crowd gathered, sub-inspectors were brought forth, a chief inspector came over and listened to my 3 year old. In fact, for a brief moment of time, my daughter single handedly wooed and swayed the customs department that mum had made a small error, should be forgiven and set free. Any worries or woes about traveling with my babes were set to pasture.
In no time, Mr. Kumar was shaking little Miss Grace’s hand, photos were snapped and we were boarding the big iron bird, Kathmandu bound.
A word of advice to all Hippy Mamas: Be sure to check your passports, travel with extra diapers, and let your 3 year olds do the negotiating.