[Jack's First Flight]
Leading up: I am finding as a mom with 2 kids, that no matter what things ALWAYS take longer than you expect. And packing is certainly NO EXCEPTION for this. I always try to think pack the minimal, but I am afraid I always get hung up with the "what if's" and throw in the extra "this & that" which quickly adds up. But packing up was going pretty smoothly and trying to leave things in order here so John wasn't pulling his hair out was coming together. There were, however, those inevitable bumps in the road.
Bump #1: Jack was really, really sick. All he wanted to do was watch pooh bear or baby einstein and be held with his favorite blanket and elephant. I normally don't ever mind these cuddly times they have (because I know it is gone just around the corner) but I was in a bit of a pinch at this point.
Bump #2: Jack comes into the kitchen in his footed pj's (it's still chilly here in may) with his hands full and catches his foot on the leg of his highchair and down he goes. Face plant into the kitchen floor. I know it's not good because he is crying. And Jack isn't a crier. Picking him up I see blood. Bad thing #2. I check his teeth and they are all in tact. Unfortunately, the tooth went into the lip...pretty deep. But after an orange freeze pop...he's ok.
Bump #3: I get sick. I am just feeling reeeeeeally lousy! My head feels like it's going to explode and I cannot imagine the pressure I will feel high in the sky in an airplane.
Bump #4: We get to the airport and I am pretty much a wreck. I am feeling terrible and can't seem to "pull it together." I am having a really hard time saying goodbye to John and Andrew, feeling like my plane is going to crash and these are my final words to them. I know...weird. I am so not the emotion type. Like I said, I wasn't feeling well AT ALL. But, I go through with it, of course, because I am thrilled to see my family.
Bump #5: We get through security just fine thanks to my extra precaution of not a single speck of metal on my body and slip on shoes and we're off to our gate. Wow. The gate is crazy. People are everywhere. I cannot even see where I need to go and I cannot understand what they are announcing overhead. My head is ringing. I am standing in line to check in my stroller. Jack is being perfect and is flirting with the sweet little girl in a wheelchair in front of us. The old man behind the desk is having a problem and taking a reeeally long time to move us through the line. I look behind me and see they have started boarding. Well, I'm here. I have a ticket. Certainly they won't leave without me! (famous last words). The guy in front of me passes glances of frustration my way. I smile because I don't want to be like "one of those people." Finally, we get through. I stroll over to the gate to be boarded, seeing that everyone else except the family with the girl in a wheelchair is on the plane and I wait. The family moves ahead with their sweet kids and I am impressed with how well they seem to have it together. Their daughter who seemed to be about 8 had major speech delays and could not walk by herself. She was beautiful and seemed like the type who would overcome these difficulties she was handed. The mom was holding a newborn baby. So as they disappear down the hall I smile sheepishly hoping he realizes this is not my fault I am still on THIS side of the airplane. He looks at me surprised that I am indeed holding a boarding pass and checks it's validity. He calls for someone on his walkie-talkie and looks up at me and says "Hang on a minute." Hang on, I think. For what. You and I both know where I need to be and how to get there. And hanging on has nothing to do with that plan!!!! Looking back I hear what the voice on the other end of the W.T. says, but I am sure that at the moment, I was in complete denial. He looks up at me and says, "I'm sorry ma'am. There are no seats left. I don't know what to tell you?".........................[this is exactly how I felt. pause. pause. pause. I just wanted to wish it all away, bypass the whole airplane ride and click my heels and and be in "kansas" already. but alas, the man was still staring at me and I was still NOT on the plane.] So we both turn, without saying a word, and look at the old man who did not help in the process of speeding things up. I, looking for some kind of "HA! HA! JUST KIDDING!!! OF COURSE THERE'S ROOM ON THE PLANE!!! WHO EVER HEARD OF SUCH STUPIDITY." And the gate-man, looking for a way out before this lady (me) loses it. John was long gone, probably almost home by now. I thought, well, I'll just have to go home and try to catch something tomorrow. (It was 5pm) This is where the tears came in. I now realize I am sorry I have not had the capability to freely pull this "prop" out in prior times of my life as some I know can. I am just not a crier. I mean, I cry. Don't get me wrong. And so much more now that I am a mom!!! Oh my. But, there have certainly been times in my life where I reeeeally needed or wanted to cry and I just couldn't. I hate those times. But back to the story: I lost my momentum. I was geared up to get through this flight no matter what knowing that Midway was only a mere 2 hours away and I'd be welcomed at the end of the ramp by my dad. But now...now what????? So I cried. Seemed like a reasonable thing to do, even though I had little decision in the matter. All I could get out was, "Hang on, I just need a minute to think." And walked over to the chairs and stared at the wall. It's actually humorous to me now!!! But then. No. Nothing was humorous about this situation. So I gather myself and wipe my eyes which keep flowing with forbidden tears and try to compose myself enough to ask when the next flight is. OK. An hour and a half. Which means we can go get a bite to eat. That's great. I still have the stroller so at least Jack is contained. The man starts treating me like his daughter and is apologizing over & over. I don't say much because I am afraid the tears will start again. He books me for the next flight, informs me that there will be a 2 hour layover in Baltimore and I will be arriving at Midway at 10:10pm. Oh boy. This is not what I bargained for. I cannot believe it. But what can you do. It has to be done and I have to buck up and get through it. So as he's continuing in his "I'm sorry's" he says that they will be reimbursing the amount of my flight. Of course, to be expected. Ok, so the wound is not completely healed, but that helped the blow. Then he hands me a check which is nearly triple the amount of my missed flight. He explains it reimburses my missed flight, plus an apologetic fee. I am feeling much, much better now.
"HEY, MOM. I think that was our flight!!!"
MORAL OF THE STORY: God is in control. I would certainly have not planned my trip to start out like this. But my whole flight was covered plus $100 bucks in pocket, the flights we ended up on were sooooo empty that Jack was able to move around without it stressing me out, the Baltimore airport had a Starbucks, and I even had a little bit of time to read this book.
So. I have learned that crying can be good. And if you plan it just right, you might just get a free flight. Although, I can take no credit for this one. More on the actual visit to come!!!! And I promise it won't be as long-winded!
[Jack finally gave into slumber, the last 10 min. of the final flight]