My daughter and I: Where we’ve gone together

Lily and me outside a 14th c mosque in old Delhi

We measured Lily the day before we left Nashville for Bangalore.

We measured her against the living room wall at my former in-laws’ house, where we gathered for Fathers Day with my parents, my ex-husband and his parents, his brother and brother’s wife, and her father.

Our family is complicated, and our Lily is five feet tall.

During our trip to India, she bloomed.

Mom snaps a photo of Lily before we are unexpectedly given a blessing by a man who takes a liking to the two of them.

Our lovely nine-year-old was fitted for handmade Salwar Kameez, which she wore gracefully and respectfully.

She was blessed in a Delhi temple by Ganesha – the elephant god revered as the remover of obstacles.

She ate lunch on the floor with Hare Krishnas.

And she discovered puppies sleeping in a stone passageway at a 14th century mosque.

Lily and I outside the Taj Mahal. We are wearing handmade Salwar Kameez.

During our time in India, our Pie / Love Bug / Biscuit / Pea navigated five different airports, two train stations and four cities.

She braved Bangalore traffic full of cars, motorcycles, rickshaws, buses, cattle, dogs, and street vendors.

She is accustomed to seeing cows wandering the streets.

She survived a hustle in Delhi and learned quickly how to deal confidentally with hawkers in touristy places like Agra.

She suffered oppressive heat and travelers stomach, and countless strange journeys with her carsick, sleepy head on my lap. She complained less than her mother complained about her complaints.

In New Delhi, she taught me how to swim. We were the only people in a beautiful tiled pool with a chained monkey in the pool house.

On the road from Agra, we discussed world religions from the hatchback of a car whose driver stopped frequently so we could snap photos of towering Hindu gods.

In Old Delhi, we toured the government buildings. India needs some new laws, she said. Laws about litter, the environment, hawkers, helping poor people, the traffic and the water.

On the road to Mysore, the driver asked if we wanted McDonalds. She chose the Indian restaurant beside it. Days later, when we both craved red meat, we made a list of the things we’d cook when we returned home.

She stayed up late to talk to her father a half a world away. She rose early to catch red eye flights.

She bonded with the 15-year-old son of our traveling companions, as well as the stylish, 30-year-old administrative assistant at my father’s office.

She reassured me in moments I found India to be too difficult. “It’s going to work out,” she said to me, more often than I said it to her.

She is five feet tall, and my love for her is immeasurable.

Indians loved taking photos of the blue-eyed American girl


22 thoughts on “My daughter and I: Where we’ve gone together

  1. Pingback: How to do Paris with your tween | Knight Stivender's life in full

  2. Pingback: The Sweetest Little Moments from 2011 « Knight Stivender's life in full

  3. I’m finally getting around to reading your posts on your trip-it sounds like it was rich and unforgettable! It makes me look forward to travelling abroad with Caro. I would love to hear more of the details of your trip in person. Hope to see you soon!

  4. Knight, ur blogs are mind blowing….. thanks for adding me as well in ur writings…. and introducing me as a stylish lady… well hope to meet u all again in future…. 🙂 Regards to every body

  5. Love this post.

    Ps: I agree with Lily on the laws India needs but not as new laws coz they are there, need a system that enforces them, that is held accountable by the people. We will get there I am sure but lot of dirt to cleanup, starting with corrupt politicians. And Indians such as me should stop ignoring reality and do what is in our power to help. Pls Thank Lily for awakening thact thought in me.

  6. What a beautiful little world traveler! In my experience, kids do great in foreign countries. We can learn so much from them.

  7. What a sweet and beautiful girl! Lily will never forget your time in India. You have filled her head with things to dream and think on for a lifetime. In one trip, you have broadened her horizon and stitched your hearts together with the thread of adventure.

  8. You sure were having a great time your daughter. Oh! I can’t wait my kids to grow up and bring them to travel. Your daughter is pretty and guess what I am her tall! 5ft! Common height for Asian lady ^_^


  9. Oh, you are making my cry! You are such a wonderful mommy, and one of the most talented writers I know. I am so happy to count you as a close friend, and love that Lily is so sweet to my Clair. I can’t wait for them to grow up together.
    And for the record, I too, am 5 feet tall 🙂

  10. My love for her and her parents, who made her who she is, is also immeasurable. This was an astounding trip and I wouldn’t have missed any of it – even the terrible parts – for anything.

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