So today’s #clickaday Photography Challenge photo relates to a story I’ve been wanting to write about for a while: our bye-bye ritual. There is absolutely no way Kakasii and/or I can leave our house without completing this ritual in full (just ask my mom and sister–they witnessed and participated in it while they were here last month). Here’s how it goes:
1. Max and Elly climb into the car with us to ride with us while we pull out of our gate.
2. Once outside the gate, one of them climbs into the front seat and chooses who they want to say bye-bye to first: Mommy or Daddy (not to brag, but they usually pick me).
3. Elly gives me a firm hug and pats my shoulders. Then she kisses me three times: on the lips, on the right cheek and then on the left cheek. If she’s feeling generous she may also throw in a kiss on the nose or another kiss on the lips. Then in her sweet little Elly voice she says, “love you, Mommy.” Then she moves on the Daddy to repeat the sequence.
4. Next up, Max. He’s climbs forward to my lap (Elly is on Kakasii’s lap by this time), gives me a hug and then a quick kiss. On rare occasion he might throw in a “love you” with prompting.
5. Max moves to Daddy while Elly comes back to me and Anita, who’s been standing just outside the car during this entire scenario, begins coaxing Elly out of the car. As Max wraps up with Daddy, Anita then takes him, too.
6. Anita, Max, Elly and sometimes Ney then all stand a safe distance behind the car as we start to drive away. We MUST wave out the car windows up until we turn the corner and are out of their sight. If we forget Max will shout “toa mkono, Daddy!” (wave your hand!).
This ritual usually takes 5-7 minutes, sometimes up to 9. So we have to plan accordingly if we want to be on time anywhere. But, it generally saves a lot of crying and clinging during departures so we’re happy to invest the time, not to mention the hugs and kisses, to make a smooth exit.
(I snapped this photo out the car window just as we were about to turn the corner and disappear out of sight. I used my trusty Nikon Coolpix S4300 point-and-shoot camera. The slight hint of a smudgy film over this photo is because Max and Elly often use this camera to take pictures and tend to leave a hefty finger print on the lens, which I then forget to clean off before I use the camera again.)