Whew, last week was an extremely busy week for us. Between flying to Orlando late Saturday afternoon and visiting Disney World until Wednesday night, and then returning to Lubbock on Thursday we are all exhausted. That said, we had a great trip and it was entertaining to see all of my family and to have them see Jack.
Last Saturday Leslie and I spent much of the day making final preparations for our departure at 1600 that afternoon. That morning I had to go into the office to finish up some work I hadn’t gotten done Friday night. Knowing that I was going to be the only one in the office I went ahead and took Jack with me so that Leslie could finish packing. I got back home about an hour and a half before we wanted to leave, plenty of time to pack my bag and get the truck loaded up. Fifteen minutes before we needed to leave I noticed that the tires on the stroller were looking a little low, so before I packed it up I aired up the tires. After I pumped up the last tire the nozzle on the air pump got stuck on the valve stem and in my efforts to pull it off I rendered the tube completely useless by ripping off the entire valve stem… It was a side tire as well, meaning I couldn’t simply put Jack in and pop a wheelie, go figure.
Frantically I told Leslie that we had to leave immediately and the get Jack in his car seat. Knowing that there wasn’t a Walmart on the way to the airport I began calling the closest ones to ensure that had an inner tube of the appropriate size. Finally, as I was about to pass the exit for the particular Walmart I was on the phone with they got back to me and, yes, they did have a tube of the appropriate size. Thank goodness. Driving as fast as I could without exceeding the speed limit I headed to the Walmart where I ran in and bought two new tubes, one for good measure.
Eventually we made it to the airport just on time… of course, being a Filippo, arriving at the airport on time means we were still two hours early, and of course, the airport being Lubbock, we made it through security and were sitting at the gate with an hour and 45 minutes to kill. As an adult an hour and 45 minutes is no big deal, I’ll just pop open my Kindle and get started on my next book; as a parent with a child who has learned to disappear faster than Houdini himself an hour and 45 minutes is just short of eternity itself.
Knowing the poor kid was getting ready to be forced to sit in one of our laps for the next four and a half hours I wanted him to be able to crawl around as much as he wanted so we found a slightly less populated section of the airport not too far from our gate… by not too crowded I mean that it was occupied by a janitor, a bored looking TSA official (keeping America safe from the dreaded 90 year old terrorists), two ants, and a housefly. About 37 seconds after having turned Jack loose we had lost sight of him; after frantically spending the next couple of minutes searching we finally found him right below our seats sharing a French fry with the two ants previously mentioned. After we took the French fry away from him we began imagining what other treasures he might find while crawling around on the floor at the airport… paper trash… used gum… a hangnail. “Jack! Come here buddy, why don’t you come sit with dad.”
I won’t go on into too much detail about Disney as it was pretty much what you would expect, other than to say that apparently my child is terrified of Goofy. Mickey and Minnie didn’t really pose a problem but Goofy brought us to a whole new realm of terror. Think back to the whole harmonica fiasco. I will say this though; you know you’re hardcore when you develop a blister just from riding the Teacups at Magic Kingdom.
Thursday we had an early morning flight out of Orlando, and when I say early morning I mean the bus picked us up at the hotel at 0330. So yea, it was a long day. We arrived in Houston to find that our very short layover had been extended due to “maintenance difficulties.” I swear the airline must have had a premonition of the potential disaster to come. As Leslie and I were walking down the skyway I’m holding Jack and I hear this tremendous groan start coming from between his clenched lips, he sounded like a constipated wildebeest; which, come to find out wasn’t too far from the truth. As we approached the aircraft this powerful cloud of noxious gases surrounded me, my eyes beginning to water I handed the boy off to Leslie while scrambling for the diaper bag. “Take him to the [airplane] restroom and change him,” I told her, “I’ll take care of the bags.” As she walked onto the plane, she turned to me in dismay and said, “But there’s a long line, can’t I wait?” “Do you want to live?” I asked her, “Do you have any idea what will happen when those doors close and the air begins recirculating through the cabin?” “I’m sorry fellow passengers of flight 4601; I don’t think any of us are going to make it out of this alive.”
Fortunately there were a number of survivors from flight 4601 and Leslie, Jack, and I were counted among them… kind of ironic if you think about it. And it is with those images that I will leave you this week.