Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Airport closed. Flight canceled.
We were all set to fly east for our long and much anticipated trip that would encompass – among many other important things - Isaac's 5th birthday celebration with his grandparents – because every child needs at least one good memory of a large crowd of people he's not 100% clear how he's related to squeaking about Oh-my-god-you've-gotten-so-big! while descending on the latest jello creation. And to think some kids get bounce houses and magicians at their parties. Losers.
We had been scheming before we got the call about the cancellation. We saw the writing on the wall – or the snow in the drifts, as the case may be. Plan was, drive up to San Francisco Tuesday night – before our scheduled Wednesday flight - to try to get standby tickets on the red eye. Beat the storm, baby. Slip in under the wire, so that Isaac awakes in his grandparents' house to a winter wonderland. Yes, we want the snow, just wait for us!!
Well, well, well. What one robo-call from Orbitz can do to the best-laid plans. We are now booked on a flight Friday. I'm doing my best here to take this in stride, but you have to understand, all the east coast cells in my body had already been put on alert. I was going back. To the land of edge and extremes. Where strawberry fields means the John Lennon memorial in Central Park, instead of, well, fields of strawberries. To where sarcasm is a way of life. Blessed sarcasm. Praise be the gods of snide remarks. Things were in motion for looking at the world the way only the crowded Northeast corridor can. Under these circumstances, how is a person supposed to chill?
The suitcase is still in the car. You see, the stress here is about trying to achieve the impossibility of the static moment: all the dishes washed, the bathtub scrubbed, the clothes clean and dry – enough packed, enough left to throw on when we get back, the plants watered, the food in the refrigerator eaten, Isaac's liquid vitamin finished, the new bottle ready to go in the checked luggage. Everything, done. Perfect. All focus outward. And now, I want to weep at the sight of crumbs on my kitchen floor, at the fact that the laundry has already started to pile up again, that, like it or not, I am going to have to open that f-ing suitcase.
Plus, I have a full-on head cold now. This is just one more example of missed opportunities. Think of all the people I could be infecting. And the pressure changes would ROCK.
Okay, if I haven't hooked you yet, let me just add in that I'M OUT OF ALL THE TEA WITH CAFFEINE. As I sit here, people, I'm drinking some god forsaken leafy beverage that will do NOTHING to increase the levels of fatty acids in my blood or irritate my stomach lining. Well, there is only so much a person can take. And despite my recent research into refined sugar, this puppy is NOT sweetened with agave nectar – hint, hint. Just a flip of the ole bird to – uh – someone, I'm sure it was effective; no, really.
Isaac, as per usual, takes things much more in stride than his mother. He has not written a diatribe calling Mother Nature nasty things or dissing on jello. He has done nothing but continue to be a sing-songy almost five-year-old rhyme monster who's biggest complaint is that he does not own a flatbed truck. When I informed him that our flight was canceled and we wouldn't be leaving for at least two more days, his response was “That's okay. I really didn't feel like going into the cold right now anyway.”
Spoken like a true Californian. This display of peace and surrender is enough to make me certifiably crazy. I shudder to think what more years of such influence might do to me.