Waylaid, Diverted and Delayed

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The trip all seemed well and good and typically full of hilarious statements. We arrived earlier than I usually go to the airport; the added time due to the managing of two other humans other than myself. When we arrived, I first tried to physically drop off our checked bag since we had checked in online. The man said that we needed a ticket from the agent. I hear an indignant voice from the Girl, “what the?” Then as I take the bag to the agent, Girl is muttering, “Mom I almost said the sh word.” We have been struggling to stop the 8 year old girl from cursing. Yes. The 8 year old girl. She enjoys pushing boundaries, I shudder to imagine her teenager self.

So bag checked and then security. The TSA agent asks my name, then Boy’s name. Boy answers correctly. Girl answers with her nickname. Naturally. So I prompt her, give your full name. Girl then starts on a righteous tirade – “MOM why do I Have to have so many names! I DON’T want such a long name. “TSA officer must have decided that its just not worth it or she is obviously untrainable as miniature spy/threat anyway – because he stops listening and waves us on.

 

We get to our gate; foolishly I think that we are on our way. The kids immediately eat all packed snacks like the piranhas they are (this is an important fact for later), we start on mad libs, and then the ANNOUNCEMENT: Our flight is so delayed that we will miss our connection; we need to rebook. Sadness.

The 3 of us walk over to the “special services center”. As we are waiting in the line of lost and despondent souls, a young skinny blond woman in tight shorts is complaining of her flight. Please. She doesn’t have two kids. I reply yeah well we are in the same boat. Girl pipes up incredulously same boat?!? I look at her and realize what is causing such astonishment – I answer,  “you are right – not a boat, a plane.”

They rebook us for a flight that leaves in 2hours, at 1pm, through Charlotte (to go to Detroit!).  I try and be cool. The kids are great, patient, little angels. Really (!). 2 hours later and several hours since we arrived – We get on the plane, we are all happy – we are on the way! Then we sit on the tarmac for 1 hour! Of course, no there is no food. The kids start grumbling – they are hungry! I promise them food in Charlotte. But as we arrive in Charlotte, I realize that we only have 30minutes until our connection leaves because we were so late leaving NYC. NO TIME FOR FOOD. We book it to the next connection, arriving as they are boarding and sit down. At least the next stop is Detroit – our destination. So I promise them food on the plane. We look at the “menu” of options – sandwiches, crackers, pick something, anything. And then the flight attendant says sorry, we don’t sell sandwiches on US Air Express flights.

 

 So I give my children two chocolate brownie cliff bars and skittles. Sadly. I beg them – “You are going to feel happy and satisfied for a little while but then you will starving and angry before we get to food. This is called a sugar rush. Can you please try and calm your angry feelings until we get to food after we land?” HA. They smiled indulgently, sure mom. But they did me a solid, they fell asleep immediately until the flight was over. No melt down, no temper tantrum. As Girl said, Mom! “I saved myself! I took a nap instead of having a temper tantrum.” So we finally made it – 4 hours after we were supposed to land.

 

One more thing – they lost our luggage. But it arrived at 4am the next day. So, it could have been worse. Maybe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it just me or is Wednesday creepy cute when she smiles?

 

 

 

The trip all seemed well and good and typically full of hilarious statements. We arrived earlier than I usually go to the airport; the added time due to the managing of two other humans other than myself. When we arrived, I first tried to physically drop off our checked bag since we had checked in online. The man said that we needed a ticket from the agent. I hear an indignant voice from the Girl, “what the?” Then as I take the bag to the agent, Girl is muttering, “Mom I almost said the sh word.” We have been struggling to stop the 8 year old girl from cursing. Yes. The 8 year old girl. She enjoys pushing boundaries, I shudder to imagine her teenager self.

 So bag checked and then security. The TSA agent asks my name, then Boy’s name. Boy answers correctly. Girl answers with her nickname. Naturally. So I prompt her, give your full name. Girl then starts on a righteous tirade – “MOM why do I Have to have so many names! I DON’T want such a long name. “TSA officer must have decided that its just not worth it or she is obviously untrainable as miniature spy/threat anyway – because he stops listening and waves us on.

 We get to our gate; foolishly I think that we are on our way. The kids immediately eat all packed snacks like the piranhas they are (this is an important fact for later), we start on mad libs, and then the ANNOUNCEMENT: Our flight is so delayed that we will miss our connection; we need to rebook. Sadness.

The 3 of us walk over to the “special services center”. As we are waiting in the line of lost and despondent souls, a young skinny blond woman in tight shorts is complaining of her flight. Please. She doesn’t have two kids. I reply yeah well we are in the same boat. Girl pipes up incredulously same boat?!? I look at her and realize what is causing such astonishment – I answer,  “you are right – not a boat, a plane.”

 They rebook us for a flight that leaves in 2hours, at 1pm, through Charlotte (to go to Detroit!).  I try and be cool. The kids are great, patient, little angels. Really (!). 2 hours later and several hours since we arrived – We get on the plane, we are all happy – we are on the way! Then we sit on the tarmac for 1 hour! Of course, no there is no food. The kids start grumbling – they are hungry! I promise them food in Charlotte. But as we arrive in Charlotte, I realize that we only have 30minutes until our connection leaves because we were so late leaving NYC. NO TIME FOR FOOD. We book it to the next connection, arriving as they are boarding and sit down. At least the next stop is Detroit – our destination. So I promise them food on the plane. We look at the “menu” of options – sandwiches, crackers, pick something, anything. And then the flight attendant says sorry, we don’t sell sandwiches on US Air Express flights.

So I give my children two chocolate brownie cliff bars and skittles. Sadly. I beg them – “You are going to feel happy and satisfied for a little while but then you will starving and angry before we get to food. This is called a sugar rush. Can you please try and calm your angry feelings until we get to food after we land?” HA. They smiled indulgently, sure mom. But they did me a solid, they fell asleep immediately until the flight was over. No melt down, no temper tantrum. As Girl said, Mom! “I saved myself! I took a nap instead of having a temper tantrum.” So we finally made it – 4 hours after we were supposed to land.

 One more thing – they lost our luggage. But it arrived at 4am the next day. So, it could have been worse. Maybe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just me, two kids, and one week – will we survive?

I have a one week work retreat

this could me!

this could me!

in upstate Michigan. Recklessly, I decided to take our two kids with me. 1 week and no relief pitcher/husband to get my back or at least to get me a drink. It is beautiful in this retreat center. There is a pool, a lake, trails, cafeteria food. But just the long stretch of 7 days and the unrelenting demands of two children & work- well it is daunting, frightening, actually.

When the twins were two, I stayed home (alone) full time with them. My husband traveled for work. Those 3 days alone used to feel like an eternity. Many nights, (right before bed of course) they would seem to go completely feral. They screamed, laughed, ran in circles, literally bounced off the walls, AND completely ignored my sad and desperate attempts to put them to bed. After begging, screaming, and jumping up and down, with no effect, I used to just close their bedroom door and call my husband. I warned him that his children were wilding, there was nothing I could about it, and if he didn’t get home soon, he would find me curled up in a fetal position and the children drinking out of the toilet bowl. Don’t worry, he never found me like that and the children never drank out of the toilet (well mostly never or at least never at my direction).

I’m sure that this week along with them will be different, I mean they are 8 now. right? right?

There is a camp that starts on Monday for the staff’s kids to attend while we work. It should be fun for them – swimming and bowling and movies. But my daughter who is a tiny worrier, is, well… worried. She peppers me questions at mind-blowing pace – “who are the teachers? Where will you pick me up? What kind of food? Do I have to go? Can I go with you to work? Will we be near Canada? What kind of fish are in the lake? What is the food like? Is this going to be in your blog?” whew. I have to limit the number of questions she can ask in an hour.

We are all packed. I am proud of myself – I managed to fit clothes for 3 human beings in one large, needs to be checked bag. The kids will each have backpacks with books, mad libs, cards, and snacks. I don’t want us each to our own have rolling bags, it’s just two much to keep up with.

The retreat center is beautiful and historical. But more about that in the next blog.

Flight tomorrow, it should be a great adventure. I will keep you posted.

All Quiet in the “Epicenter of Hipness”; & Damn New Jersey for stealing our fireworks!

Quiet has descended upon Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There are parking spots, seats at restaurants, and the little humans at the playground have changed complexion – from mostly a pinkish shade to mostly shades of pecans, walnuts, and other browns. It’s like the old neighborhood returns for a brief, shining moment. Certain parts of the city really empties out on July 4, with race & class playing a big part in who can afford to leave the city for a long weekend.

We love Brooklyn now. It’s so still. The city’s rhythm changes during summer holidays. It shrinks, suddenly we recognize many of the people on the street and in our building. We don’t do a lot for July 4, but we have always enjoyed going up the roof of our building to watch fireworks. Which brings me to a great theft of our a Brooklyn and Queens birthright!

The Macy’s fireworks display used to be set-off on the East River. That’s the river that Williamsburg is on, in fact Brooklyn & Queens run along the East River. Our neighborhood had some of the best views. From our roof, they were amazing. 3 years ago, Macy’s announces that will set off the fireworks on the Hudson – THE OPPOSITE side of Manhattan, depriving 2 boroughs of fireworks. They SAID it was just for the 100th anniversary of Henry Hudson “discovering” the Hudson. (This obviously ignoring the nation of people(the Lenape) who already lived on the island its shores). They promised to bring the fireworks back to the East River.

BUT THEY LIED. And I blame New Jersey. Because who benefits the most from this switch? New Jersey. Damn them. And Macy’s for their complicity in this theft.

Bring our fireworks back to the East River!

 

Our trip to Block Island, Weddings & Expanding our Definition of Family

We just returned from an amazing wedding/vacation at Block Island, RI. It was our first visit to the island. The island was beautiful, hilly, forested and windswept. High, limestone bluffs stretched out over the shores. I was proud of the kids, we took a several hour bike ride to the tip of the island. They each rode their own bike, with me in the front and my hubby in the back, the two kids in between. They each stayed on the side of the road, riding the white line and not going out into traffic. At the tip of the island we saw seals playing in the surf. We played in tide pools and hiked through meadows.

Oh, and we went to a beautiful wedding of our cousin to her husband. J. and I are not that into weddings; I mean we respect people getting together and trying to make a go of it, but weddings are not our cup of tea. We eloped, we called my parents and said, We are getting married tomorrow. We paid an officiant to come over in the morning, marry us, and then we all had mimosas. I don’t even think we have pictures. What really makes a marriage is everything that happens after the wedding.

Well, you can probably tell that I am somewhat ambivalent about the institution of marriage, but I have to say it has grown on me J.  Honestly, we both have our critiques of marriage as an institution. We don’t really like the idea of the state defining relationships and deciding on legal rights and powers based on those relationships.

But, as we enter our 13th year of being married, it is rather cool to look back on all the years and shared fun together. And once you have kids, you understand why people “stay together for the kids” –  because having kids is hard and even harder to think about doing alone.  No but seriously, there can be a wonderful deepening of trust and intimacy as the years roll over us. And it does feel like the years roll over us, we get older our faces get deeply lined, our memories disappear, but at least we can be ourselves with our spouses/partners. At least that is the hope.

No one can really say how their marriage is going to go; all you can do is promise to try and build a life together. At it’s best, marriage is a great adventure and great leap of faith and I wish that for the lovely couple who we witnessed getting married.

ImageOur kids were in the wedding. Here they are: ring-master and flower maven. They are twins, can you tell? Since M. was 3, she has declared that she doesn’t like dresses. The way she chooses to express herself has only gotten stronger. So when our dear cousins honored us with the request that A and M participate, we said yes if it was ok the M didn’t wear a dress. Times are a’changin because they readily agreed – no fuss. And really, just a question – why do we have to have such a narrow vision of gender? In 2013? But enough said on that today – suffice to say – don’t they both look awesome!

This week, a whole lot of people who are already married will be able to enjoy the same rights under federal law as married couples who are consist of two different genders. While this new won right is limiting, and does little to address racism, poverty, systemic inequality, it is a step forward for those of us who might dare to love and build a life with someone of the same gender.

Again, I wonder – why does our vision of love, gender, and family have to be so narrow in 2013? Isn’t time that we dream bigger? Personally, I think we should be able to assign the rights and powers associated with marriage to whomever we want. So I should be able to sign a paper saying that my aunt and I are in partnership in building a life together and so she should be able to be on my health insurance. Or a single mom and grandmother should be able to all be on each other’s health insurance, or make health decisions for the other. Or my friend and her polyamorous family should be able to make a contract deciding on each other’s legal rights and responsibilities in their construction of family.