I’m pretty impressed that despite a two-hour flight delay and a jet carrying at least twenty juveniles under the age of 8, the interior of our northbound plane was fairly quiet. Maybe it actually HELPED that our takeoff time ended up being bedtime instead of late afternoon–!
My daughter and I had arranged to split up, once inside the plane, with me and one kid sitting behind HER with one kid. The “sitting behind” was strategically designed so that the inevitable kicking-the-back-of-the-seat would be tolerable for the person whose seat was getting kicked; namely, the mom. However, our airline had other plans. With the delayed flight, some seats were double-sold and others left empty. Apparently this is the logical result of a delayed flight: go figure. But to continue, the look in the passengers’ eyes (“If I don’t switch seats I’m stuck entertaining this stranger’s two-year-old) showed me how gracious and helpful people can be. One young fellow even went out of his way to hand my grandson a forgotten furry puppet. He was thanked with an angry “Stop It!” by said two-year-old who quickly grabbed it, assuming the man had been trying to steal it all along. The magnanimous stranger grinned knowingly. Much appreciated! Another fellow passenger steadied my array of carry-ons so I could effectively get my passport zipped into my purse. Had she not done this, a domino effect of tipping suitcases would surely have delayed the flight yet again. Very grateful.
So the flight was two hours of relative quiet. I can say that because the seats lined up with Daughter-and- Grandkids in the row behind me. It was certainly NOT quiet for her—moms must be extremely proactive in order to maintain, well…ORDER. Add to that the fact that they’d already used up all their Quiet Voices during the prolonged airport wait, and I think she was pretty miraculous. As for my role, of course, I was seatbelted forward. Not much I could do besides reach back and tickle that soft little ankle that kept kicking my chair…
We’ve arrived now in Great Falls, Montana, welcomed by my fabulous son-in-law who was so grateful to see his wife and kids again. He and my husband had driven up a few days ahead in the proverbial UHAUL, and cleaned and painted and unloaded in what must’ve been a marathon of chores. Thank goodness for friendly neighbors who’ve never met my family but still came to welcome and help the two men unload! Unlike our Las Vegas airport, the Arrivals and Departures actually intersect. So as I climbed OFf the plane, my husband climbed ON. It felt terrific being in his arms for a minute. Then he was ordered to board the plane. I’d instructed the flight attendants to call out my husband’s name and to say, ” Your wife says hi and she loves you.” We’ll see if they played along. Meanwhile, now HE’S in Vegas and I’M in Montana. We’ll cross the great US border sometime this afternoon! I’m pretty excited—happy to immerse myself in their lives for a bit! Stay tuned–!