the long day

13 May

Do my tales of travel bore you?  I’m sorry, but this one does have to be told.  On Monday evening we were dropped off in Jackson, Miss., at the airport.  My mom offered to come in with us, but I knew she had to get home as she was leaving the next day on a trip with my dad, and it was by now very late in the afternoon.  As I stood in line to check in, I noticed that our flight from Jackson to DFW was delayed by an hour.   As we only had a 30 minute layover in Dallas, the writing was on the wall.  We were not going to get home that day.

I placed a call at once to the hotel in the airport at DFW.  They were sold out, but had availability at a sister property just across the street, but still on airport grounds.  I booked it and paid on the spot.  It had suddenly become urgent that we have someplace to go when we got off that plane in Dallas.  My children were already tired and hungry and had traveled 90 miles just to get to the first airport. 

I sent Wade into the store for provisions.  He emerged with a bag of bugles and a bottle of water.  And a note written on the back of the receipt that said:  “Your little boy is very sweet and mannerly.  Good job.  Keep up the good work.” signed by Nikki.  I thought that was lovely of her to take the time to acknowledge him. 

In the meantime Anna had unpacked her entire bag in search of something.  Once she found it, she re-packed.  Everything except a pair of undies that she left sitting on the floor in the middle of the gate area.  I was away from the gate making the calls to Hyatt and my mama.  When I returned, it was to snickers from other passengers as I noticed the lone pair of undies in the floor.  It had been a long day, and clearly it was about to be a very long night.

On the plane, we had 4 seats in 4 different areas of the cabin.  I managed to switch seats to be with Henry.  The other two were on their own.  They had seatmates who offered to let them move and sit closer to me, but I declined.  I really did.  We had expereinced a good bit of togetherness already, but I also was confident that they knew how to conduct themselves on the plane.  They took advantage of my not sitting with them to order Dr. Pepper and Coke, but by then I was so tired that I would have looked the other way if Henry, age 3, asked for a Mountain Dew.  I just was blissed out knowing that there was a bed in my future.

The rest of the story is so uneventful.  We took a shuttle 5 minutes to our hotel.  We checked in and promptly ordered room service as we hadn’t eaten since noon, and if there’s one thing worse than a tired child, it’s a tired and hungry child, and breakfast would be iffy based on our departure time.  We sat on the floor and ate quesadillas and pizza and agreed that it was the best and most exciting meal we’d ever had.

I was and am so proud of my brood.  Nothing bothers them.  They think hotels are awesome and airplanes are an opportunity to drink Dr. Pepper.  They could not have known how at the end of her rope their mother was.  Or maybe they did.  And that’s why they were so good.  But we are a family of good travelers.  Anything can be an adventure if you look at it the right way.  It’s a skill that has saved me dozens of times, and I am proud to see them cultivating it so early.  Bon voyage, everybody.

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