When Worlds Collide

Last weekend, my dad came over to England to visit me. And that doesn’t happen often. Usually, when family or friends come to visit au pairs, it’s their mums. I was just excited to finally have someone over (it’s taken me eight months to actually get him to come here).

My dad was supposed to come to England in February, but he couldn’t make it. Back then, I was extremely nervous about him coming over because he would get to meet my host-family. That really freaked me out – and I’m still not completely sure why. I do know that I’m not the only au pair who felt this way. One of my friends (she’s left Aldershot now) told me that she was immensely relieved that her parents never came to England for precisely that reason. Is it because we have this whole life here that is completely different and separate from the life we had when we still lived with our parents?

Sometimes, it does feel like I have two separate families. They know about each other, but they have never met. It’s like two worlds colliding. What will happen when they do meet? Is it going to be the start of the apocalypse? No one knows. It just freaks us out.

Anyway, back to the part where to separate parts of my life collide: My dad came over, and he met the host-mum and kids after school – since I was still working that day. Everything was fine – he’d brought them chocolate and stroopwafels (a Dutch biscuit), so they enjoyed that. Thankfully, he only told them two slightly embarrassing childhood stories about me (the host-mum would have loved to hear more). I then took him out for dinner, and that is when the host-dad called me, freaking out a little bit: “Please tell me your dad is still here.”

I told him where we were and ten minutes later he showed up and bought my dad a cocktail. He secretly put in an extra shot of vodka, which made my poor dad (who never drinks) really ill and then tried to convince us to go to Windsor. Not a chance of that happening what with the royal wedding going on. We decided to go to Winchester instead.

All in all, I think everything went pretty well. The world didn’t end, and my dad has now actually seen how happy I am in England. He kind of already knew that before, but there is definitely a difference between hearing my stories and actually seeing me here. And he told my mum as well because when he came back home, she asked him if he thought I was ever coming back to the Netherlands. His reply: “Not. A. Chance.”



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