Tag Archives: journey

Leavin’ on a Jet Plane. Never Again.

26 Oct

Whine: I got myself whipped up into such a cleaning frenzy today that I cleaned the girls’ toy kitchen. Oh yeah, and I pulled a muscle (or two) in my glutes. Now that is some SERIOUS cleaning.

Cheese: Our actual kitchen is still a disaster. Spaghetti and a one-year-old anyone?

 

Well, I foolishly promised a post today. And technically, it is still Monday, even on the east coast (barely). But I wanted to share my latest travel adventure with you, as my own personal Aesop’s Fable. You know, the made up stories that show how the character with the tragic flaw inevitably meets his/her doom because of it? Yeah, like that. Only this is my real life and not a made up cautionary tale.

Travelling alone with my two small children (and the one inside of me who always seems to be throwing some sort of party–or temper tantrum–I’m not sure) seemed a like a daunting task even to me, the often over-optimistic one (see? my tragic flaw). But when the siren song of my alma mater, Wheaton College, called me back for a ten-year reunion, I couldn’t resist. Being on campus with almost all of my old roommates and reliving the glory days of our hysterical lameness was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

So I packed up our bags, weighed them on the scale to make sure we made the weight cut off (we didn’t), took some junk out, weighed them again and rushed us all to the airport. And actually it wasn’t so bad. They let me cut in the security line and Big Sis was the model helper throughout the whole take-your-baby’s-shoes-off-because-she-might-be-a-terrorist thing. We got on both our flights with relative ease and arrived with our chariot (aka Katie and Eric) awaiting us at baggage claim. It was so uneventful I even had the foolish nerve to say, “See, that wasn’t so bad.”

Famous last words.

Our time in Wheaton was lovely. Except for the part Chloe where started puking and infecting everyone’s kids with some weird virus. But, you know, kids puke, you move on. I got to see some of my old professors (who remembered me, or more accurately, my penchant for dramatic breakdowns.) I got to show Sophie the campus and try to counteract some of the constant Baylor/TCU indoctrination that goes on around here. And mostly I got to hang out with my friends, people who have known me since I had a perm and tight-rolled my jeans and still like me. We mostly just sat around and talked over really delicious Chicago-style pizza. Life. Theology. Books. Movies. Old Times. New Laughs. It was a good fabulous weekend.

Until the trip home.

I should’ve known it would be a disaster because we were on time to the airport. That was the last good thing that happened that day. Our initial flight was delayed an hour. Which, of course, meant that we would miss our connecting flight. After getting off the first flight (from the very last row, thank you very much) we “ran” (me with a loaded stroller and Big Sis wandering aimlessly staring up at the ceiling) to the opposite end of another terminal and caught another connecting flight just in time. The plane for that flight was tiny and apparently tiny planes shake and shudder every time a bird flies by. There were lots of birds flying by that day. I thought we were going down for sure. Although my lunch certainly was not. Finally, having narrowly escaped death in a tin can, we arrive to find Mr. Dad. But no luggage. Of course.

But at least the end was in sight. Right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

No, Mr. Dad, in a rare show of airheadedness (that’s my department, Mr!) had locked his keys in the car. We spent another FOUR HOURS at the airport. Two of which were spent with Mr. Dad trying to open it himself, ala Man vs. Machine. I imagined him out there trying to wrestle it into submission. But we apparently found the one thing he can’t fix, so we waited another two hours for the locksmith. Meanwhile certain children were having intestinal issues (tiny planes, anyone?) and the ariport Chili’s was out of corndogs. I mean, can you believe our luck??

After a twelve-hour travel day, we made it home and into our beds. It took me a week to recover from the trip. So like any good character in a cautionary tale, I can say: lesson learned. Period.  And next time my buddies beckon with offers of deep-dish pizza and a trip back to old times, I am definitely going to say that I can’t go.

Maybe.

Oh, who am I kidding, I would do it all again tomorrow, wouldn’t I? Make that lesson unlearned. I’ll save the fables for Aesop.

Plane ride to Chicago

Flight to Chicago, pre-misery. Well, mostly.

Advertisements

Growing Pains

13 Nov

Whine: The Rice Krispie renovation went so well, we decided to go with a similar concept in the living room. We’ve chosen Pepperidge Farm’s Crushed Goldfish for the living room instead of our boring beige carpet.

Cheese: We had an impromptu date at Target last night, Mr. Dad and I. Forty-five minutes of uninterrupted shopping followed by a tall Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks. Whatever you do, don’t look at the nutritional info on this. (You did it anyway, didn’t you? Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

 

I can’t say that I have ever actually experiened true growing pains. Unless you count the time when I was in fifth grade and decided to shave the place above my nose where my eyebrows seemed to be growing together. That hurt. In fact, I remember very clearly that being the same day I practiced my kissing skills on a Teen Beat picture of Kirk Cameron, who, incidentally happened to be the star of the hit tv sitcom Growing Pains. Perhaps my ill-advised grooming ritual was motivated by my heart-felt adoration for Kirk, but who knows why fifth-grade girls do anything.

Anyway, as I was saying, I’ve never knowingly experienced the scientific phenomena of growing pains. But I think that the term lends itself nicely to the universal human experience of screwing up repeatedly on the path to acquiring a new skill or knowledge. From the eyebrow-shaving experience I learned to NEVER, EVER, EVER do that again. From lighting a pork chop on fire and then throwing it on the floor to put out the flames I learned that if you pick it up off the floor and rinse it off it’s just fine. From having my toddler finally fall asleep at midnight I learned that naptime ends by 4:30 every day, and that Benadryl treats more than just runny noses, if you know what I mean. (I know, I’m a terrible mother.)

So if screwing up and lighting things on fire is just part of the deal in life and learning, why do I hate it so much?

Why do I mutter angrily under my breath when my cake sinks like a California sinkhole? Why do I bang my head on the cold tile of the bathroom floor after Big Sis has yet another accident? Why is the learning process so upsetting to me?

I find that learning is messy and I hate messes. More specifically, I hate cleaning up messes–it interferes with my tv-watching/novel-reading/anything-but-cleaning time. Not to mention that learing implies that I’m not perfect, that I don’t know it all. I don’t know about you, but discovering this about myself (over and over) ranks right up there with getting a colonoscopy.

I want to be a little less focused on knowing it all and doing it right the first time and a little more focused on enjoying the process, even when its messy and frustrating and painful. I want to learn to laugh at myself when I make a mistake instead of hyperventilating and retreating to my bed for four days. And I want to learn it right now!