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Archive for September, 2012

First Days

I held his hand tighter as I felt him shake. “Please don’t leave me, I don’t want to stay,” he said. And I wanted to kneel down to him and wrap my arms around him and whisper, “No, of course you don’t have to stay. We will go home to the backyard, to the sunshine and grass. We will count the ants as they march to their hill, and we will lay on our backs and tell the stories of the shapes in the sky. We will hold hands as we jump together into the pool, and laugh as we roll down the hill.”

I longed to hold onto the days that the sun rose and set with just his brother, his daddy, his mommy. I longed to slow the inevitable separation that another year older would only bring closer. But instead of following my breaking heart, I looked him in the eye, pasted a smile to my face, and said, “You’ve got this, buddy. It will be so much fun! Your friends are all here — look! Here comes one now!” And somehow, before I was ready, I felt his hand slip away from my own, and he was across the room in a flash. Just like that, his nerves were calmed, his enthusiasm fanned, his need for me, gone.

I waved and blew him a kiss as I backed out the door, my eyes bright with the tears I refused to let flow.

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Summer Warmth

I wish the warmth of summer would never end. My boys have grown as fast as the grass. Addison has lost two more teeth (the seventh on the eve of his seventh birthday), Hayden has outgrown two sizes of pants and one of shoes. They run, and swing, and color with chalk on the driveway. They swim and dance, and collect rocks in their pockets. They water the plants, and bury the seeds from their sesame buns in determined belief that a hamburger tree will appear in the morning. They giggle and sing. They imagine, create and inspire. When they’ve tuckered out and snuggle in next to me for a few moments of quiet, I bury my nose in their hair and breathe in the sweet smell of sweat and grass, sunshine and adventure, and say a prayer that next summer will be even better.

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So I have this tendency to get myself in awkward, embarrassing situations on a fairly regular basis.  Fortunately, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to laugh at myself rather than to start praying that the ground will swallow me whole.  I have a kind of funny story if you are up for it.

As usual, I was rushing like a mad woman to get myself out the door and to work on time this afternoon.  Let me preface by saying that my version of on time is at least 30 minutes early.  I like plenty of time to get checked in, to chat a bit with anyone I may run into, to swing by the Starbucks on my way to the gate, and then, if the plane is already on the ground, I like to get on board, get my galley ready, make a quick phone call to the boys, and be all settled and ready before the first passenger steps on.  Anyway, in my haste to leave the house, I accidentally ran my nylons as I was getting in the car.  I dashed back in the house, grabbed a new package from my drawer, threw it in my bag, and blew kisses, love yous, and see you soons for the second time as I raced again to the garage.

Once I arrived to the crew room, I pulled out the package of nylons and shrugged as I realized they weren’t my usual style.  No biggie, I thought, as I slipped them on.  We have new uniforms that have been a disaster for a multitude of reasons.  One of the many, many problems, is that the shirts are too short to stay tucked into pants or skirts.  Any time I have to reach up, such as to shut an overhead bin, the shirt will come a bit more untucked.  This also happens if you bend, or walk, or just move in general.  Most of us have discovered that if you tuck the shirt into the top of your hose, it will stay put a little longer.  My problem was that I had accidentally grabbed a package of thigh highs, so there was nothing to tuck my shirt into, other than the band of my skirt.  Oh well, right?

So off I went to clear security, get a pumpkin spice latte, and eventually make my way to the plane.  I was the first one there, and figured I had a good 10-15 minutes to myself before any of the other crew arrived.  I lugged my bags to the back, lifted them into the bin, and then headed into the galley.  By this time, my shirt was practically up to my chin, so I ducked around the corner, made sure I wasn’t standing in front of the L2 window where any rampers may be able to see me, and proceeded to hike up the bottom of my skirt so I could pull my shirt back down.  But I couldn’t quite reach the edge of the shirt, so I had to push my skirt up even higher, until it was all the way up around my waist.  Just as I was tugging the shirt down, I heard an “Ahem”.

Now for a quick back story.   Last summer I took Patrick with me on a 4 day Hawaii trip for work, and it turned out that the First Officer who flew the entire trip with us was someone I had forgotten that I had “dated” years earlier.  I’ll have to save that whole story for another post, but in a nutshell, I didn’t put two and two together about who this guy was until the fourth and final day of our awkward, uncomfortable trip, one in which I tried desperately to win over the cold, distant, First Officer with a chip on his shoulder to know avail.  I mean, it was like this guy had some reason to be ticked off with me, and oh, wait, I guess he did have a fairly good reason….  I had just flown for four whole days with him without realizing that I had previously “dated” him.  Oops.  My bad.

Well guess who was standing behind me as I tugged on my shirt, skirt all up around my waist, wearing those damn thigh highs?  Uh huh.  Peter, the First Officer whom I will never, ever again forget that I had “dated”.  Awkward uncomfortable moment for sure.  He looked like he was going to die, and he couldn’t quite figure out what to do — should he say something, turn around, offer to help?   And then I started talking.  “Oh, hey, um, just fixing my shirt here, um, okay, all set.  So hi, how are you?!  You look great.  Are you going to San Diego, too?  Oh right, of course you are.  Okay, so can I get you something?  Anything?  Um okay.  So.  Well.  Look, could we just uh, pretend this never happened?  Pretend you didn’t just see what you just saw?  Okay then.  Well, you must be off to your walk around now, right?  Right?”

Poor Peter rushed off that plane faster than anyone I’d ever seen.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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There are several rooms in our house that I very rarely enter.  One happens to be our guest bathroom, which for some unknown reason had become Peyton’s bathroom of choice.  We kept all the bathroom doors closed because Hayden had a huge affinity for water, and also, I once discovered Addison drinking a cup of water that I had not given him.  When I asked where he got it, he very proudly told me that he was a big boy now, and could get his own water from the toilet.  Yep, I was raising dogs.  Just take a swig out of the toilet if you’re thirsty! 

Anyway, we were having friends out for a BBQ, so I opened the door to the bathroom, planning to give it a quick once over since I thought it hadn’t been used since the last time I had cleaned it.  As I turned on the light, I blinked my eyes several times because I thought I might have had some strange migraine thing that makes you see smudges, rather than spots.  Dark brown, dried, crusty smudges.  But no, it was not a migraine (though I wish it was).  You can imagine what my next thought was.  Shit.  Literally and figuratively.  Not a space had been spared.  The walls were covered in thick, brown, dried yuck.  The sink, the faucets, the toilet, the step stool (no pun intended), the soap dispenser, the hand towel, EVERYTHING!!! 

Upon closer inspection, I was HUGELY relieved to discover that the “crap” was actually dried chocolate frosting from a bribery cupcake I had given Peyton the last time she was with us (You know, “If you please do this, I’ll give you a cupcake decorated like a doggy.  Please, please, please do it, and I’ll give you anything you want.  Please!).  I have never in my life been so happy to clean a bathroom covered in dried chocolate frosting as I was that day!

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