Every missionary, or anyone who’s traveled overseas, knows that jet lag is a curious beast. You struggle through the first few days, slugging down coffee or propping your eyes open with toothpicks, and then it boomerangs back around a few weeks later, just when you think you’ve got it licked!
Needless to say, jet lag–and thirteen continuous hours cooped up in a plane with a two-year-old and three-year-old on our very first trip to India–was a huge concern for me. Fortunately, our flight flew out of Newark well past my kids’ bedtimes so they were zonked almost the entire trip. As we began to make our descent into Delhi, a sense of dread spread over me. Outside my window, staring down at the place that would become my new home, thousands of lights spread across the city like an incandescent blanket, and I wanted to smack my forehead with the palm of my hand. Why didn’t I realize this before? It’s nighttime here. My kids had been sleeping for the past thirteen hours!
I think it was the first (and only) time that I ever hoped getting through customs and out of the airport would be a long and exhausting process! When we finally arrived at our friends’ house, where we would be spending the next couple of days, my husband and I made our way into the room in which our family would be sleeping. Our friends had a pull-out bed for us, and on either side of the bed was a pallet made up for each of the kids. After visiting for just a little bit, we said goodnight, tucked the kids into their pallets, and my husband and I fell into bed, exhausted.
Somewhere around three in the morning I woke up to a small rustling sound. And then I saw a small, dark shadow leaping from the arm of the hide-a-bed. I reached out my hands, but I was too late! The next thing I heard was a small, triumphant voice saying, “Body slam!” and the startled crying of my son–who had just been rudely awakened by his little sister’s wrestling moves. Oh jet lag, how I love thee!