During the first flight, Edwin did not help things. He provided no conversation or entertainment whatsoever, and by the end of the first flight, I was losing it. My crochet supplies were in the suitcase in the overhead storage. Since I didn’t want to disturb Edwin, I couldn’t get them. I never could get Mr. Everything’s attention to ask him to step over Cameron Diaz to get my yarn and hook for me. So, I sat there. I watched a movie, I took a nap, and I sat. The Goose slept a good bit during the first flight, so I didn’t even have her to entertain me. By the time we landed, I was losing it quickly.
I was hoping to move around and get some relief during our layover in New York. However, with all the excitement of the forgotten cell phone, I didn’t get a chance to breathe. We rushed and got on the plane for round two of traveling home.
As I sat down in aisle 25, I realized very quickly that the space between the seats was much, much smaller than aisle 9. I felt like I couldn’t move, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I’m not typically claustrophobic, but this plane was testing my limits. It was hot, and I was cramped. I sat between my two kids and had Mr. E sit in the aisle seat beside the strangers. This was because I would rather be between my kids than beside someone I didn’t know. Even though I was wedged between them, I thought it would be a more pleasant ride.
After the plane took off, I felt like the walls of the plane were closing in around me. The TV above my head was one of four on the plane that did not retract when not in use. So, I even had something over me. Then, before we were even in the air good, the guy in front of me leaned his seat back. That was the point when I started crying. I tried to hide the tears, but I’m a very ugly crier. It’s impossible to hide an instantly swollen nose and red eyes. The Goose asked me why I was crying. The Beetle just hoped I wouldn’t cry on him. I didn’t know why I was crying. I just was. Luckily, I dried it up quickly before anyone else began to stare.
Soon, the person in front of the Beetle leaned his chair back. The walls truly were closing in around us. At that point, the Goose put her hand on the back of the seat in front of her. She sat that way for a long time so that, when the lady in front of her tried to lean back, the seat wouldn’t move. The lady thought her seat was broken and finally gave up trying. Genius child.
Then the Goose said, “I have a kicker behind me.” I asked her what she meant and she said the person behind her kept kicking her seat. I looked back, and actually, her seat wasn’t being kicked. The woman behind the Goose had her striped-socked feet propped up on the back of the Goose’s seat. Her socks didn’t match, and I was really tempted to tell the woman that it was the Goose who started that fashion trend. I told the Goose just to ignore it since I really did not want to confront the person. The Goose smiled sheepishly and said she would take care of it. Then, she leaned her seat back, and the striped socked feet returned to their proper position on the floor. Sometimes, my child’s problem-solving skills amaze me.
Throughout the flight, every time I would start to relax and close my eyes or I would start to watch the TV show that was playing, the Goose would tap me. If she tapped me once, she tapped me 100 times. I finally asked her if she realized how many times she had tapped me to talk to me, and she smiled and tapped me again.
By 10:00 PM, I was anxious to be on the ground. The pilot announced that we were about 85 miles away from Tampa (which would be precisely over our house at the camp) and that we were making our final descent. The kids, Mr. E and I were all thrilled to hear this news. By 10:20, I could see familiar landmarks below us. We passed the Howard Frankland Bridge and the Courtney Campbell Causeway. I saw Rocky Point go by, and I knew we were home-free! We were dipping lower and lower and lower, and then we sped up and turned back upward. I think I heard a whimper come out of the Beetle, or maybe that was me I heard. The pilot came over the speaker and said we were being re-routed because of birds in the area. He said a plane had apparently hit a bird so control wanted us to go another way. That was when the Goose said, “I thought you said birds didn’t fly at night.” I asked her, “What do I know? I didn’t listen in science class!”
We circled around and passed the familiar sights again. Then, finally, we landed. Before we got off the plane, each of us asked the Goose if she had her phone. She did not appreciate this, but we just wanted to be sure!
As we headed down the escalator toward baggage claim, we saw a decoration on the floor below. We laughed and said maybe these were the birds that had hindered our flight. No matter, we were back on Florida soil, and we were happy to be there. It was a great trip, but no matter where we roam, there really is no place like home!
Since my mother says it sounds like we didn't have any fun at all, tomorrow, I'll tell you about some of the good times of the trip! -Al