I have one of those personalities where I cannot leave the house, regardless of the duration that I am gone, without tying up all the loose ends. What if something happened during my travels and my files weren’t organized, how embarrassing would that be?
I am predictably restless throughout the night before traveling with dreams of clothes and electronics floating through my mind, things I might forget and things that I fear I cannot live without, like the USB cable to my camera and my fuschia Hankie Pankies.
We arrived at Sardy Field early morning and were greeted by Mike Brokeking and Paul Taddune, local heroes who have worked curbside check-in for as long as I can remember. Always charming, cheerful and helpful they greeted me in my panic-stricken state, helping me as I spilled out of the car with luggage and tired children.
At the security check-in we unloaded pockets of change, cell phones and metal toys. Just after the boys had taken off all of their heelies we heard, “Maam. You cannot take those lacrosse sticks on the plane. Please go back to check in.” “Really Mommy?” the kids whined. As we slumped away from the line I heard a baby screaming and the hair rose on my neck. Brevitt leaned against me, slipping his soft hand into mine and whispered, “Mommy, we’re lucky that’s not Tucker.” I smiled at him for reading my mind, “You’re doing it again, invasion of privacy. Get out of my head,” I said shoving him lovingly with my elbow.
“Miiiikkke,” I yelled bursting back out the doors. “What do I do with these sticks?” Whisking the sticks away from me, the problem disappeared. “You are a wonderful asset to this airport,” I said. “I want to interview you,” and he humbly answered something to the tune of, “Oh, I think we’ll let somebody else take the stage on that one.”
In Denver we went to our Chicago gate and ran into good friends who had rented out their house in Aspen for the summer to pay their mortgage. They were heading off to Europe on miles. As they got in line to board the plane my boys began to rumble. Tucker was angry that his brothers were not letting him use the computer. I glanced up from my book in time to see Axel with Tucker in a headlock. Fists started flying. If it weren’t for all of the disgruntled attention we were receiving from our growing audience I would have continued to read and let the boys settle their own dispute. Things took a turn for the worse when I saw computer keys fly off of my laptop. I added to the noise by rumbling into a turbulent storm with no mercy. Suddenly, with Tucker in mid scream, an announcement was made over the loud speaker, “Tucker Livingston, please report to the front desk.” Always the jokers, our friends thought it would be funny to mess with us one last time before they boarded their plane. Very funny, very funny! Have fun leaving me in my not so quiet world of insanity while you board the plane for Italy.
When we got on the plane the Steward came up to little Tucker and hissed at him, demanding to know who let him sit in that exit row seat. “This is where they assigned us,” I said from the row ahead. Placing his hands on his hips he pouted and quite pointedly stated, “Well, children are not allowed to sit in thissss row.” I hadn’t quite simmered down from my last blowup and felt my blood begin to boil again. “Could I please speak with your supervisor?” I asked and he huffed away swinging his hips. About an hour into the flight the Supervisor came, but at that point I was ready to be left alone. “I just wanted to remind you that you are in a ‘service’ industry,” I said and she bent down in all of her perfume and hair sprayed glory and said, “Thank you for making me aware of that.” I wanted to scream but I went inward and closed my eyes willing her to go away and forcing myself to not stick my fingers in my ears to shut her out.
In Chicago we were delayed for two hours and so we lingered at the Oakley store and tried on sunglasses. I so badly wanted to purchase the Hindu Aviator glasses for $160. I mean really, I looked like a badass mother to be sure but I didn’t have the money and even if I did, I couldn’t justify buying a pair of city, unpolarized glasses just to look good, or could I? “Run away,” I told myself. “Run away.”
On our last flight from Chicago to Boston they separated me from the children yet again, placing me next to a Geriatric women who could not get up out of her seat. I was too exhausted to maneuver everybody and so I went to the back of the plane and told them that this was their problem and that they were the ones who needed to settle it, my charm was gone. They waited for everybody to be seated before addressing the situation and then begrudgingly went out to face the task. Have I told you how much I hate airplanes? Even if you got a steal of a price on your tickets, is all this worth it?
Finally we reached Boston and had to stay in a hotel overnight before we continued on our incredibly long journey to Nantucket. Just one more cab ride and a ferry and we would reach our destination the next day, a place well worth the journey.