Monday, July 2, 2007

Meltdown at the terminal

First and foremost, it is with giddy glowy joy that I announce that Jenn has awarded me a perfect post award for this post. Here it is!

June 2007 Perfect Post Awards

This was the first thing I bumped into as I got my Internet connection working in my new home, and I was touched and so happy. It felt like a good omen. Like a house warming. So thank you, Jenn. Even though we're not in the same time zone anymore, we're are still in the same zone!

Speaking of time zones, I'm writing this from mountain time. My head is aching from the remnants of an 8 hour time change, and my nose still hurts from the gross dry air that they assault you with on airplanes. My children and I were traveling on June 29, which as it turns out was the day of a terrorist attack in Europe (Scotland? England? I am still in traveler's bliss, and haven't seen a newspaper or newscast since I left Italy). All I know is that our voyage took us over two days and four airplanes. We arrived in Toronto after a nine hour flight and missed our connection. One of our bags had literally exploded due to the bizarre baggage carousel in that airport. The bags basically come tumbling down a chute and wind up piled on top of one another until a huge bag jam results, and the unlucky bags on the bottom explode. Literally explode. Ours was one of five.

We then spent the night in an airport hotel, and were booked on the 7am flight the next morning. My children were exhausted, cranky and coughing. This was our first transatlantic trip without my husband, and even though they tried to be little soldiers, the absence of MacGyver was a nightmare. He always carries the bags, always takes the middle seat, and most importantly, always keeps the kids under control. I'm not a bad mother, I'm just a spoiled mother.

When I approached the check-in counter the next morning at 5:30am, the perky girl smiled and said, "I'm sorry, but your flight has been cancelled. We've managed to rebook you, though. You're booked through Cincinnati to Denver at 4pm." bright smile as if she had done me a big favor...

That's when it happened. I started to cry. Not a few tears, but a big, hearty, snotty, red-faced sobbing cry. My two zombie children became so alarmed when they saw me that they also started to cry! I had reached that point of no return. That point of saying I can't be the grown-up here! I can't cope! I just can't!
That kind of emotional meltdown usually makes the person in front of you willing to do anything to make you go away, which is how I managed to get my kids and I on a flight to Chicago, then to Denver, via another airline company that same morning. They really wanted me to go away!
So I'm here. I'm exhausted. I'm scared. I miss my husband so much that it is a physical pain, like a thorn in my foot, making me limp. He arrives on Thursday, so I'm looking at two more days of clinging children and boring cooking.
I at least have you, my readers, for which I am truly oh so lucky.
Thank you.


Brillig said...

Oh, Jennifer! What a story! What a trek!

And you and I now share a timezone!

I was thrilled to see that you were given the perfect post award today. You so deserve it.

Now, take a nap. Eat something delicious. And survive the next couple of days. Whew!

Rebecca said...

big congrats on the perfect post award Jennifer - you absolutely deserve it!

Amazing how a few tears can make another flight suddenly available isn't it?? I know it wasn't funny at the time - but I laugh at the image of you bursting into tears - the check in counter girl looking alarmed and desperately looking through her computer for ANY flight
just so she could get rid of the mad, distraught crying lady!!

And EXPLODING baggage - that must have sucked!

I'm sorry you're feeling scared and missing your husband.... I'll send you some cyber hugs ...(((here )))

Have you seen any of your family yet?? Are they nearby?

anno said...

Quests are never easy. Now, though, it's time to wash the dust from your feet, order carryout (a nice feature of American life!), and enjoy that gorgeous view. Let the next few days be an oasis.

It was good to see you posting again... Congratulations on your well-deserved perfect post award!

Carol said...

I don't blame you one bit for the melt-down! What an ordeal! Glad you arrived safely... albeit spent.

And HUGE congrats on the Perfect Post award. What a great idea -- and what a great accomplishment!


sognatrice said...

Well I can't say as though I was expecting The Great Exploding Bag Story, that's for sure....

Glad to hear you're home safe and sound and congrats on your Perfect Post Award--very richly deserved. Can't wait for the next installment in your journey :)

Jennifer said...

Congrats on the perfect post. You deserved it.

So sorry the trip was such a nightmare. I hope MacGyver's trip is much less eventful and that Thursday gets there soon. It's so hard being without your husband. I know something about that.

Jenn in Holland said...

Gosh, look at this, where once I was first in the comments section I am now relegated to the end. I was sleeping peacefully while you posted and others commented before me. But it's all right, I do not begrudge my place, but strangely I do miss your being in Italy.
You are absolutely correct however in stating that we are in the same zone.... I love that you said that too.

This post was great. Hilarious and gut wrenching. All sympathies and commiserations are yours Jennifer. Traveling is hellacious.
I remember flying from London to the US a few years ago, Andrew was 6 months old and had stayed AWAKE the entire flight home. He fell asleep in the sling only as we landed in Atlanta. We had to check through customs there for re-entry to the US and then board a plane for Arizona. Never did we leave a secure area as we stepped off that international flight, through the passport control, and into the terminal for our next flight. But we HAD TO GO THROUGH SECURITY again. And THEY MADE ME TAKE MY SLEEPING BABY OUT OF THE SLING! I had to carry him in my arms throught the security scanner, couldn't leave him in the sling, because what? I was carrying a bomb inside that fabric? A bomb that I had just carried across the atlantic ocean? That no one saw at the London airport?
Meltdown isn't even the appropriate word for my reaction. I was chucking my shoes with great force onto the conveyer, handed Don the baby (who was now awake and BAWLING!) and tore the sling off and literally threw it at the attendant.
STEAMING MAD I was, and EXHAUSTED, and BAWLING as loudly as baby Andrew. It took the whole of the flight from Atlanta to Phoenix to calm down and breathe a little. I didn't stop crying the whole way home.
Traveling is hell.
I am glad that part of yours is over, and now I echo Anno's words and say, order some take out and just chill a day or two. MacGyver will soon be at your side and then this pain and angst will only be memory...

jennifer said...

Finally approaching something similar to sanity-
Hi Brillig- thank you for all of your comments in these few days. I like thinking we're so near now

You, too, Rebecca. And yes, I've already seen my mother.

Anno, my kids and I spent yesterday evening just watching the sky, and we saw a fox sprint through the back yard!

Hi Carol, thanks for reading. I appreciate it.

Hi Sognatrice- un abbraccio per Italia

Hi Jennifer- I know you know

Jenn! I know- you're not the first comment anymore! What a story that was... I remember those days, too. Transatlantic travel with BABIES! Time for some serious tranquilizers!

Cate said...

Oh my goodness! You poor poor thing!! I'm glad you are your boys are safe at home. If my bags exploded, I would have cried, too. Those Canadians!!! It's all their fault! It's a darn good thing MacGyver will be with you on Thurs. What's he making for dinner?

Brillig said...

By the way, I gave you a little award on my site today. You've probably already received one, but, uh... here's another one. haha.