Trying to leave one country to fly to another is serious business. Depending upon the length of your trip, it might be necessary to pack like there's no tomorrow. And I'm a packing kind of fool. I like to shove a suitcase full of junk. Or things I think I need.
In my attempted departure, I was caught up in the customs check point. I was there for 5 minutes while the young lady tried to explain to me that I needed to fill out 3 additional forms. All I wanted to know, was whether I did something wrong or not. I hadn't. But still, she sent me over to the immigration police. That was fun. I was greeted by 3 men who didn't seem to possess the best customer service skills on the planet. I managed to scribble through the forms and make my way once again to the officials who would either allow me through or deny me passage and send me sadly on my way back home with my dh. During this process, my two children took this time to let me know that they were not happy. They were fighting over cookies. The cookies spilled and went all over the floor. I think I cursed the country under my breath while my babies were throwing more crumbs on the floor. People were giving me the evil eye for my misbehaving, overly tired (because you know that at 10 pm it was passed their bed time) and cranky, whiny children. I wanted to get on the plane. The kids were crying. They called out for daddy. And the lady at the window could not have moved any slower. I was starting to think she died right in front of me. Or fell asleep.
I shall fast forward to the part where I am actually on the plane. We played musical seats. The kids slept on and off. And both needed to go pee at the same time. The bathrooms are very small. The flight attendant told me that I couldn't take both kids in there at the same time. I just ignored her really. But when I started to go into the tiny closet like room, the flight attendant charged me and ran up into the doorway. She blocked the door with her body and she stood just inches from my face. She began yelling at me very loudly. She said, "I TOLD YOU NOT TO TAKE BOTH KIDS IN THERE!!" She brought her tone down only a notch and said that I should have left one kid strapped in the seat alone while I took them one at a time. I briefly played out a scene in my mind that would have ended with me getting handcuffed at Dallas Ft. Worth airport and leaving my children stranded in the care of some child protective service agent. I decided not to go that route. Instead, I stood there with the door open, and my children using the potty in plane sight of the people standing in line. That woman was just plain wrong.
For that display, I had two other flight attendants at my seat apologizing profusely for this woman's behavior. They said that they would have let me go in without a second thought. They offered me a bottle of wine or champagne from first class. I accepted.
We were in the air for 9 hours and 30 minutes. It was a long, mostly sleepless flight for me. The kids did pretty well on the plane, considering that they are 2 and 3. Upon touchdown in the U.S. I was overwhelmingly happy to be in my home country. And even at the Dallas airport I encountered a handful of happy chatty travelers. It felt warm and welcoming. I smiled all the way through.
Our next flight was 2 hours and 5 minutes. We arrived early. But it was the longest flight. I was so tired, and felt like I could almost fall asleep while standing straight up. There is no better thing than to see your family waiting for you as you get off the plane. However, I did not see them for a bit. I had to walk down the ramp, get on an elevator and then go down to baggage claim. It was there that I saw them all standing. Backs to me. Looking at the escalator. Waiting for me and my two kids pulling their rolling backpacks and me pushing the stroller. They were waiting for me to come down that escalator. Only I had too much, I surprised them by coming up behind them. And it was good.
I slept for hours when I got home. The food is good. The milk is good. And there was even some real feta cheese and sour cream! Feels good to be home. There is only one thing missing. And he is back in Chile. Wish he were here~