October 3, 2012

Our Memorable Luton Story

Who could have ever thought that a simple family trip could produce moments that would change my life, both as a father and as a person? This is exactly what happened when I went with my family for a holiday stay in Luton, one of Bedfordshire’s big towns. Arriving at the London Luton Airport around 8:24 AM, we immediately headed near the airport parking lot, caught a taxi, and went to our hotel to get some rest after that three-hour flight from Germany.
As a person who is very organized, I had already planned everything out – our timetables and places to visit were already arranged, even where we would eat. My family did not seem to object during the planning stages, so I went ahead and decided that we should go. What I didn’t realise was that my second son was supposed to go on a trip that he and his friends had planned for over a year (to which I gave my consent a few months earlier), but since I had totally forgotten about it, I had him come along, even though he didn’t quite like it. A few weeks earlier, my second son and I had an argument because I forbade him from joining his classmates to a trip. Ever since my first son died due to a car accident, I became extremely protective with my children. I didn’t know how much my second son resented my actions until the third day of the vacation, when we visited the Luton Museum & Art Gallery. I always knew him to be quiet, with a lot of interest in arts and sciences so I specifically planned to go to this place for him (the second day we went to the Vauxhall Motor plant, in memory of my first son who was interested in automobiles).

During the visit I began to grow impatient with his unwelcoming behaviour, so at some point we had a quarrelsome discussion to which I said something hurtful and caused him to leave. Thinking that he went out to simply cool off, me and the rest of my family continued on exploring the museum, which lasted for around half a day. When the visit finally ended, we were met with a surprisingly frightening news that our son was nowhere to be found. It was devastating. My second son, who is around seventeen, is not very good when it comes to travelling alone. My wife and I spent the entire night asking questions from people who were around that time about where our son might have went. Luckily, a policeman from a nearby station identified my son and told us that he hitched a cab a few hours earlier. We managed to contact the cab company and have the cab tracked, which was finally located  near the Luton airport parking lot, of all place. Our entire family went to Luton and found my second son, who began crying as he saw us approaching.

I was overjoyed, and felt sorry for the same time on how I treated my son during our visit at the museum. My son came to me and told me that he was sorry, and that he would never act that way again. It was a learning experience to me as a father, which enabled me to treat my kids better afterwards. The rest of holiday wasn’t exactly what I planned; we drove around for a few days, ignored my itinerary, and on a whim we turned in our rental car near the parking at Gatwick and left via Gatwick Airport. It turns out that you can’t plan every moment of every vacation. It was, nevertheless, a memorable and life-changing experience, both as a parent, and as a man.

Post by the Luzon Family

Image by Gauis Caecilius