Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Near Miss

Rereading yesterday's laundry list of June activities, I realized that I forgot to mention my whirlwind trip to Southern California with the kids to visit my youngest sister and baby niece. The day before we left, I was scrambling to pack and get the house in order for our departure when my 6 year old began begging for a playdate. I told her no, and then discovered this posted on her bedroom door shortly thereafter, clearly intended for me:


The next morning, our flight was scheduled to depart Hartsfield at 8:25 a.m. We left the house at 7 a.m., which I now realize was cutting it entirely.too.close. I stood in line at curbside check in with the kids for what seemed like an eternity, only to have a Delta baggage handler tell me that I couldn't check my kids in there because (long story) I had booked their flights separately from mine, using my husband's SkyMiles to purchase their tickets and my SkyMiles to purchase mine. I pointed to the even longer check in line inside the terminal, and told the agent that there was no way we would make the flight if we had to stand in that line. He gave me a pink "special handling" tag and instructed us to stand in that line, with the pets and unaccompanied minors. I sweated bullets and waited extremely impatiently, while complete strangers instructed me to take deep breaths, until we reached the front of that line. The ticket agent had no idea how to check my kids in. She called for another agent, who also had no idea how to check them in. It's not that hard, people! Finally, the third agent they called managed to check the kids in, and we ran to security.

I basically rammed our way to the front of the very long security line, yelling, "Excuse me, pardon me, Delta has put my kids and I through the wringer and we're about to miss our flight!" Of course our flight departed from the last gate on the furthest concourse from the terminal. I could not recall whether Delta closes the door to the gate 20 minutes or 10 minutes before departure on domestic flights, and at this point we were 11 minutes away from departure time. I started sprinting toward the gate, and my 6 year old yelled after me, "Mommy, I can't keep up!" I yelled back, "Just meet me at the gate!" Oh, yes, I did.

We made the flight, albeit without breakfast or the activity books I promised we'd buy at the airport. On the way home, my 8 year old commented while standing in the security line at the Orange County airport, "I feel so much more relaxed than I did when we were at the Atlanta airport."

You can say that again, buddy!

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