I found it trapped in the hinge of my suitcase, wedged between my pyjamas and a very small thermal vest.
“Why is your plastic sword in my suitcase Raffie?”
“In case I get bored in America Mummy. I’ve also packed my magnifying glass so I can see it better.”
Admittedly when pondering a ten hour flight to the USA followed by days with a pre-schooler and my octogenarian grandmother, a plastic sword hadn’t been on the top of my emergency list.
A DVD player, an industrial sized box of ibuprofen and just about every one of Raffie’s films I could carry however, were.
But to everyone’s surprise, a boy that can’t sit down for his lunch really enjoys long distance travel. Tucking into his pasta watching Big Hero 6 over the Atlantic he looked like he’d been doing it for years.
Our adventure took us to New York, Connecticut, Cape Cod and finally Boston. Raffie took a great deal of pain but then pride in his blood blister from a viewfinder at the Empire State Building, and was delighted to make a host of new friends at the St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York, where he received free cake and cookies.
Connecticut was a winter wonderland, and he loved meeting our friends who so kindly finally let him do the cleaning and sweeping he desperately missed from home.
The weather got to Cape Cod before us, where the beach remained stubbornly under several inches of snow, and we set off early for Boston, via Plymouth, in a blizzard.
Despite the biting cold Raffie embraced Boston and loved the food, the museums and meeting fabulous friends who let him watch Scooby Doo, cuddle their dog and breakdance to disco lights late into the night.
Thanks to our tour of the wonderful Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, I also ended up having to explain the American Revolution to a three year old, under the intense stare of our fellow tourists.
“So who was the bad guy in the American Revolution Mummy?”
“Erm…it’s a bit complicated really sweetheart, they didn’t want to be part of England any more,” I floundered, feeling slightly sick and very hot.
“So they were the bad guys then?”
“Um no. The important thing to remember is that we’re all friends now,” I stammered weakly.
And with this, and throwing several boxes of tea off the side of the ship to great delight, we left for the Children’s Museum and a well-earned nap followed by the long flight home.
Raffie slept through all of our connecting flight and woke up in Birmingham. “Can we go back to America tomorrow?” he asked as we got home. “I loved it there, it was lots of fun. Can we stay in a hotel?”
It will be quite some time before we go back to America. But although he might need his magnifying glass, with all the excitement it had to offer, I’m pretty sure he won’t feel the need to pack his plastic sword next time.