Monday, August 30, 2010

Flying Despite the Flies in the Ointment

All this happy exciting stuff is exhausting. Things are still great. Friday was a great visit with friends and then I spent the evening at one of my favourite places with some friends, while Angus's baseball team won the city championships. Saturday was an amazing end-of-season game at someone's beautiful backyard with a pool, a hot tub and a trampoline -- 15 boys and three girls, swimming or bouncing for eight hours straight. We've been really lucky with other team parents in baseball and hockey -- they're all really nice and either really like us or fake it well. Yesterday Matt left for Washington and I took the kids to my parents' house for dinner. My Mom gave them some rocket balloons and they had a hilarious time blowing them up and firing them off in the backyard -- I love when Angus decides he's going to be a goofy little boy again for a while. Plus we only almost caused one car accident by causing a deflated balloon to drop on someone's windshield while they were driving by, and they took it pretty well. Turns out rocket balloons are a little hard to aim.

Today I took Angus to the airport for his first 'unaccompanied minor' experience, flying to Thunder Bay to spend the week with my mother in law. We knew Matt was going to be out of town, so we had prepared rigorously beforehand -- we had his passport, two copies of his ticket, a letter signed by both of us saying it was okay for Angus to go out of town, etc. etc. My Dad offered to come with me but I thought I should be able to handle this on my own. We tried to think of everything.

We didn't think of everything.

We didn't think that, while sticking your kid on an airplane to have someone else meet him at the other end, it might be a good idea to have the phone number and address of that person on the other end. We didn't think that, if you didn't have this information, the nice airline people might not want to let your kid on the plane.

Add to this that my parents had switched vehicles with me so my Dad could go pick up my aunt downtown with all her crap that wouldn't fit in their car, so I was driving their car and he had my van, with my cellphone charger in it, and we were in what you might call a bit of a pickle.

The airline guy at the desk tried calling my husband's cell phone for me. He didn't pick up. So Angus and I picked up all our stuff and went to the pay phone. I called Matt again. He didn't pick up. I left a fairly terse message. Then I realized, with a degree of hubristic smugness, that I could just call Thunder Bay information. Which I did. Then I realized, with a degree of crestfallen consternation, that my mother in law's husband is a doctor with an unlisted number. Then I called my Mommy. She was at her house with Eve. I asked if she could go over to my house and check my phone, since my mother in law had called last night and hopefully her number would be on the phone. She said they would walk over and look for it. She did NOT say "how could you be so stupid?" or "What are you going to do if we can't find it?" for which she gets BIG Good Mother points. We still had lots of time, since we are the kind of people who get to the airport stupidly early (because yeah, shit like this is not an uncommon occurrence with us, no matter how much we try to think of everything). I called my husband again and he picked up, at which point everything was solved nicely, except for my poor mother who is even more exictable than I am running around Barrhaven trying to figure out how to find the caller I.D. list on my phone.

We checked in. We got smoothies. We sat in the chairs. A man came and took Angus away. I hugged him and said "Promise you won't forget me!" He said "No promises." I watched until the plane took off. I took a picture of the plane taking off since I'd completely forgotten to take a picture of him at the airport before he left. He is now safely esconced in my mother-in-law's house, being stuffed with ice cream and making plans for a bunch of golf and shopping. And at least the excitement of the big Phone Number and Address Scavenger hunt sort of overrode the anxiety of putting my ever-lovin' firsborn on an airplane all by himself. Sort of. It is nice to realize that I handled this without screaming or crying, and also to be aware that not having my Dad there was absolutely the right decision since it just would have made things worse. Also, at one point Angus said "well anyway, if I miss this plane they'll probably just put me on the next one" which is a major sign of growth for the kid who, when we broke down in Quebec on the first day of our road trip out east last year, kept saying "okay, tell me again that we're not going to die or anything".

I am not off to embark on what Eve calls "four sweet days of just Me and Mommy". Not quite sure how this is different from the rest of the summer, but I'm willing to see where it goes.

10 comments:

Nicole said...

YIKES. That totally sounds like something I would do. But as you say in a silver lining, at least you could focus on the whole phone number thing, rather than the whole "my child is on a plane by himself" thing. Also? "No promises" - hilarious.

Congratulations to Angus for winning the championships!

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

"no promises" gotta love him : )and congratulations to him!
You did well, I would have been a basket case.

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

Reading that puts me in high stress mood. I probably would have been covered in sweat and my hair would instantly become frizzy as I frantically tried to find the number. Glad you managed to get him on the plane okay.

Shan said...

Congrats to Angus and his team for the championship win. Glad you finally got everything sorted out and he got away on his flight okay. Enjoy your sweet Me and Mommy days!

the mombshell said...

Your mom lives within walking distance of you?! So jealous!!!

Pamela said...

Ah, man, no matter how much you prepare stuff in advance, there's always something... I'm happy it all worked out in the end. Enjoy the time w/ Eve:)

theycallmejane said...

"No promises?" - what a sense of humor your Angus has!

Amber said...

I am also a 'get to the airport stupidly early' person. Only, I am sad to say, I rarely discover what vital thing I have forgotten about until I am at the other end with no way to get it. This is how I ended up in Cranbrook, BC with no pajamas, once.

Which I could have fixed, except I was 16 and also had no money or credit card. Because, 16.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I'm glad it all worked out okay! :) I never flew without my parents when I was younger - in fact, I only took a flight on my own (sans parents, sans boyfriend/husband, sans fellow academics...) for the first time when I was 26!!

Sandra said...

Ok, putting your kid on a plane is scary enough without all the drama of not having the phone number and such...
But you did it!
My ex-mother-in-law lives in Thunderbay...I didn't think anybody else lived there! lol