Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane (or trying to)

Today is the day I've been waiting for. I'm taking my twenty-month-old daughter (whom I've decided to call "Sassy" for the time being... because it fits) on her first airplane ride to go visit my best friend for a week. I look forward to these annual trips, because it's the only time all year we can get together. It's not that we do much of anything big or exciting, but just spending the time together, laughing about things, getting pedicures, going out for coffee, staying up late and then sleeping in the next morning, and now, watching our daughters play together all makes for a wonderful week that always goes way too fast.

Our flight was to leave at 11:14 a.m. It was delayed by about twenty minutes when we arrived at the airport this morning, but that was fine because it gave us time to find something to eat. Then, due to inclement weather, it was delayed again... and again... and again. I kept watching the estimated departure time creep further and further away. Eventually it became late enough that we would miss our connecting flight to our destination, and as we were the only two people transferring to that flight, they would not hold the plane. And the next connecting flight wasn't until 9:30 tonight.

So, our choices then became to either fly out later this evening (and catch that 9:30 flight), or try it all over again tomorrow. We opted to go with an evening flight tonight. Our great plan of arriving at our destination before dinnertime now becomes arriving close to 11:00 p.m. With a tired toddler. And a tired mommy. Oh, and the flights are booked fairly solid, so there's pretty much no chance of being the "lucky" one to have an empty seat next to us for Sassy to roam around a bit.

Fortunately, we do at least live within a reasonable distance of the airport, so my mother-in-law came to pick us up. Again, due to weather and some interstates that were shut down, she had to take the extra, extra long way to come get us. We spent a whole lot of hours waiting at the airport this morning for no good reason. I pulled Sassy away from more than one sleeping traveler, businessman's laptop cords, and random pieces of luggage, fed her snacks, soothed her with pacifiers, and made every attempt to distract her with the sights and sounds of an airport terminal with nothing to show for it.

Finally, when I was beginning to feel like Tom Hanks' character in the movie The Terminal, she arrived to drive us home. We kept Sassy awake during the trip so she would nap well in her own bed, instead of cat-nap in the car and not sleep at all at home.

As an aside, the original flight has only just minutes ago left... nearly four hours late. My connecting flight is long gone and will soon be approaching our destination without us.

There are worse things in the world. Much, much worse. My dad flew across the country yesterday to attend his brother's very unexpected funeral today. My heart is very heavy for many reasons in that situation.

My dad has also had some pretty significant health problems for several months, and there have been some VERY scary potential diagnoses. Doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist, test after test, and they still don't know what's wrong with him. It could be a very treatable condition, or it could be... something I'd rather not go into today.

A very sweet friend is watching her uncle as his body starts to shut down. What compares with the pain of losing a loved one?

I just received an email from a dear member of Sassy's biological family. She wants to know if I can talk to her about what it's like to go through infertility, and if I can relate to what she and her husband are starting to experience. It is a completely unique kind of pain, and even this week has crept up in some frustrating and surprising ways for me.

I'm still really frustrated that we are sitting at home now instead of being thirty minutes away from the end of our travels, and I'm really dreading going through the "good-bye" experience with my husband again at the airport in a few hours. I HATE doing that, and I'm not at all excited about crying and sniffling while going through security for the second time today.

But there are much, much worse things. In the grand scheme of life, it's truly no big deal.

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