I have just returned from touring central Europe for a fortnight with the family. Everyone amongst the friends and family have asked that I blog about our travel stories. I will, I promise. But there are these bunch of mini stories that happened during the travel that I feel like writing about first. 

Many of my posts have involved events and conversations between me and my daughter. As she is growing up, our conversations are becoming more intense and interesting at the same time. One such heart to heart happened during the trip. 

Love locks, as they are called, are very famous in many parts of Europe. People put locks on fences, bridges, gates and such, as the symbol of their love and affection. The key is thrown into the river, once the lock is locked. The locks have names inscribed on them or a message or a promise. At Salzburg, Austria, on the Makartsteg bridge, we walked past thousands of love locks. I noticed it was not just lovers leaving a symbol behind. There were inscribed messages left for someone’s children and someone’s siblings. Those ones were of course much lesser in count and understandably so. 

Love Locks on a bridge at Salzburg, Austria 
As my daughter and I walked on that bridge, she asked me the purpose of the locks. I explained to her that it is a symbol for someone you love, a promise or even a wish you want to make for a loved one. The last part I made up (it is called the creative side of parenting). Padlocks as symbol of love could be tough to comprehend for a seven year old. 

“A Wish ! “, she exhaled a deep breath saying that. 

“Yes, like you could wish for a new mom and see if that happens”, I said jokingly. It is an old thing between us. Whenever she is mad at me, she always say she does not like me anymore and I then tell her to go fetch a new mom. Hours later we laugh about it, together. 

“Where is the key for the lock ?“, she asked rather seriously.

“In the river”, I said.

“Oh! So people don’t come back to open these locks?”, she asked. She is at that age where questions are just endless. They never cease.  

“You mean when the wish comes true ? I don’t think they open the locks. Are you that serious about your wish for a new mom?”, I asked. I was pretty amused by now. 

“I never said that. You always just think so. I don’t want a new mom.”, she said audibly. I could people glancing at us or perhaps even eavesdropping at some of this conversation. 

“So what do you really want ? What do you want to wish for?”, I was curious now. 

“I just wish you were not so strict at times. I wish you did not get so mad at me, ever.” 

I stopped where I was. No, I did not exactly freeze or get surprised at all. I know what she meant. I know it even without her telling me that. I just did not see it coming this way. If you are a parent you know exactly what I mean. 

How I wish I never lose my cool while being a mom! How I wish I never flare up and say things that I know I never should. How I wish I am as much of a cool parent as my husband is (this is relative) ! How I wish I was not always telling my children the right from the wrong. How I wish I could just have just pure fun with them at ALL times. How I wish I was a little more patient and little less tired most of the times ! How I wish I did not become the person that I momentarily become while discipling them! How I wish I somehow tell them I do all of that because I love them dearly! Love them more than anything else.  

The Charming City Of Salzburg, Mozart’s Birthplace, The land of “Sound of Music” 
These fleeting thoughts surrounded me at that moment with an overwhelming amount of guilt on the bridge that day. As I stood with my daughter on the bridge, soaking in the views of the charming city of Salzburg, I secretly thought  – Wish there was a bridge where parents like me could lock all such feelings like their stress, fatigue, impatience, the flare-ups and throw the key away. 

What a bliss that would be ! 

Pictures and Story By : Piya Mukherjee Kalra 

#Salzburg, #Travel, #LoveLocks