Wednesday, November 07, 2007

no one in heaven.

so the adventure me and the girls went on that i talked about before was a week-long trip to seattle to visit my friend nena. the girls couldn't have been better at the whole traveling thing. they did great (for the most part)!

this was their first time on a airplane and you could just see in their eyes that they thought it was nothing short of magical! they flight attendants were super helpful and doted over them the entire trip.

ash had talked to her teacher a lot about the trip before leaving and how she was scared to fly, etc and her teacher was GREAT at helping her. she calmed her fears by telling her that she was scared too and that once she got up in the air all her fear went away because it was sooooo beautiful. the day before we left, Mrs. P even pulled ash aside during free-time and looked up pictures on the internet to show her what the beautiful clouds looked like from an airplane.

the first leg to chicago, ash was very introverted and quite a bit nervous. the noise was almost too much for her----our seats were the last row. which was really a blessing. because even though it was loud, it also meant that she was close to the bathroom and the flight attendant sat beside her and talked to her the whole time. having the opportunity to talk someones ear off always makes a flight seem to go quicker.

emma, she was a hoot! all she wanted was the window seat and shouted "go faster, go faster" during takeoff. the girl has NO fear whatsoever.

so, anywho.
in chicago i had a mini-meltdown. lack of sleep, fear of not knowing how the next 4 hour flight would play out with the kids, emma puking, tired kids....just a little of everything. along with the gut instinct that said....don't get on the plane. doug reassured me that it was just lack of sleep and once we got there and i had a day to rest everything would be okay. but i was sooooooooo tempted to book a flight back to columbus.

we got on our next plane and headed west to seattle. the flight was uneventful and i wished i hadn't checked emma's carseat as luggage. she was far too interested in buckling and unbuckling her seatbeat and a little cranky from getting up at 430am. she half-whined/half-cried "i want daddy, i want daddy, i want daddy" for an entire hour while i held her in my lap before finally crying herself to sleep. a bit in a dramamine induced stupor, i guess.

ash took several pictures from the plane, but never did ask why she didn't see fluffy clouds like her teacher said. guess she forgot about it when she realized flying wasn't so bad afterall. the biggest lifesaver of all was suzi's portable dvd player. watching a princess movie was familiar in the midst of all the unfamiliar. she watched movies, colored or bugged the flight attendant the whole time.

here's my favorite of all the ones she took:
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we got to seattle with a 3 hour time change. whew. that makes for a looooooong day.

before exiting the plane ashlyn talked to the pilots a bit and then asked for some pilot wings---a little bagde shaped as wings. something she saw on a cartoon. i was shocked when they took her hand and led her up to the cockpit to grant her wish. i thought for sure they'd tell her they didn't have any and then i'd be dealing with a moody little girl. but they did and she was grinning from ear to ear.

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and then........then, they let the girls sit at the controls in the cockpit. all my stress melted away. seriously it was so cool to see them in such awe.
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so, i'll save the what happened while we were there for tomorrow and skip right ahead to the flight home.

so we get to the seattle airport 3 hours before the flight was to leave. SEA-TAC is huge---to me anyway---and a little bit confusing. so we left early and planned to eat breakfast there and just chill. this time when checking in, we were the only ones in line. the gentleman could see i had my hands full with all our luggage and two excited little girls. so he met me at the kiosk and took my license and let the girls print our tickets. i'm sure he had kids of his own, because he was a pro at knowing they'd both want a turn pushing buttons, etc. it was a beautiful way to start the day. then i noticed that we were all in different seats....several seats apart. i laughed and said, "ummmm, yeah. i don't think these seats are going to work too well." he had a little chuckle and fixed them right up. moved us all together and to the first row past first-class. woooohoooooooo. more legroom! SCORE! i asked about taking the carseat onboard---which i had always thought wasn't allowed---and he said sure. oh my....seriously just when i thought the day couldn't get any better, i asked if there was a play area and he said YES! hallelujah! seriously. play areas in airports. it's a beautiful thing.

so we got through security and made our way to play. look how fun this playplace was...
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ash was a little overwhelmed with the whole security screening process. lots of sensory input for her. she's matured enough in therapy to not have a meltdown when she has sensory overload, but she still wants to take some time to just chill and regroup. so there she was. chillin' and snackin'.

after playing we got some wendy's, played a bit more, did the bathroom routine and headed for our gate. 45 minutes early. playarea at gate A2. our gate A13. did we make it, or did we miss it?

to be continued.......(that's a lot of typing with a kid using me as a jungle gym ya know.)

story continued:
so, who woulda thunk it would take 45 minutes to make it from gate A2 to A13? seriously. at the columbus airport that's like a 5 minute walk. not seattle. not with 2 kids, one of them sick. not with carry-on luggage.

we were about 50 yards from A13 and heard "willis party of 3 this is your final boarding call. willis, party of 3."


they saw me coming. running actually. dragging 2 kids beside me.

but we were in the first row past first-class---thank you mister nice flight reservation man. i arrived to our seats just in time to listen to a grumbling passenger frustrated about having to sit smooshed again the window with a center-seat passenger beside her traveling with a medium sized dog.....on her lap. for 4 hours. yeah, i wouldn't have been too happy either. they were on the opposite side, one row back. they resolved the problem quickly and all was well again.

snapped the carseat in, buckled emma up, got ash settled in and we were on our way. it was a bit bright and sunny and all emma wanted to do was sleep so she pulled down the shade. flying right along and on schedule. about an hour later, emma woke up and open her shade to see this:

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ash was distracted with a coloring book, but when she looked up and saw all the clouds she gasped and said with excitement you usually only see on christmas morning...."mommy, look! we're in heaven!" followed by a mood that quickly turned melancholy and then said with sad puppydog eyes...."but there's noone here. where's jesus? and where's big grammy?" "how come nobody is in heaven mommy."

which was followed by a little explaination that yes, we are in the sky, above the clouds, but not in heaven. i don't know if she was more confused or more relieved.

sweet innocence.


  1. Kids crack me up! So cute about thinking she was in heaven. :)

    That airport play area is awesome! I haven't flown with kids (except once with Jacob when he was much smaller and didn't need a play area), but when/if I do, I'll definitely be asking about play areas! :)

    Can't wait to hear the rest of your updates. :)

  2. I lOve that she thought she was in heaven! that is so sweet!
    I'm sorry I haven't posted those pics yet-n

  3. She is so sweet! I'm glad the plane ride went smoothly even though poor Emma wasn't feeling well.


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