You know how the travel day going home isn't nearly as fun as the travel day on the front end of a vacation? Well, that held true for our trip back to North Carolina on Sunday.
Since we're too cheap to purchase a seat for Macie, we always get to the gate praying that there will be an empty seat that we can snag. Even if it means asking folks to shift around so that it works out (which we had to do on both flights TO Missouri). We weren't so lucky on the return trip, however, and both flights were booked solid.
I certainly felt sorry for the nice lady that sat next to me on the first leg. Heck, by the time the short, 40-minute flight from Springfield to Memphis was over, I pretty much felt sorry for everyone on the plane. Macie was overly tired and, after being force-fed about 10 ounces of milk (in my feeble attempt to keep her quiet), she was having none of the sit-still-and-be-quiet that I was begging of her. So she proceeded to scream and wrestle with me the entire way. I was "that mom" that couldn't control her child on the plane. But you know what? I was so busy trying NOT TO DROP HER that I didn't really have time to care all that much!
But the best part of this leg of the journey was that, after we landed and were taxiing to our gate, Macie fell sound asleep. Perfect, I thought to myself (and everyone else surely did, too), the kid finally falls asleep, as we're exiting the plane, and now she's going to take her nap DURING OUR LAYOVER. So she'll be primed and ready to scream her lungs out again on the 2-hour flight back home. Does it seem odd to you that the folks on the plane were very interested in where our final destination was?!? This was NOT what I had visualized as we started our day. So I only let her sleep for about 15 minutes before waking her up to eat lunch and hopefully use up all of her remaining energy.
After boarding our second flight, I was at first concerned about the lady sitting next to me. She was no-nonsense, folks. Seemed nice enough, and mentioned that her "baby" (who is now 18), was sitting several rows up from us, but wasn't quick to give a reassuring smile. Or even a smile of any sort, for that matter. As we were taking off, Macie went back to squirming, picking up where she'd left off on flight #1. My mood headed downhill at breakneck speed. Until, that is, straight-faced lady asked if it would be okay if she let Macie listen to Mozart on her iPod. I wanted to say, "Are you kidding? I'll try anything!". Though I doubted it would work, I wasn't in any position to scoff at the idea, since I clearly didn't have any better ideas. So we gave it a shot. Laid her down on my lap and put the earpiece in her ear. Which, rest assured, was a challenge in and of itself.
And wouldn't you know it - after only about 30 seconds of listening, she calmed down and laid very still on my lap. As if she were really into it! Three minutes later, she was sound asleep. And didn't wake up until the very end of the flight. Good work, lady! Dale later described her as potentially the nicest person in the world to have never smiled. I mean, she literally didn't smile the ENTIRE time we were on the flight. Not even when I looked at her in amazement when Macie drifted off to sleep with Mozart rocking in her ear. Since anyone else would have probably laughed their head off at the look on my face, her not smiling must have been pretty hard to do, but she pulled it off masterfully.
So that was the story of Macie. Thankfully, Ivie is old enough to do pretty well on flights, now, so there really isn't much to report about her. She, too, fell asleep on the long leg (lying on Dale's lap), which was nice. Dale and I had a few quiet moments to ourselves, which certainly doesn't happen very often!
So, as I wrap up the vacation blogs, I'll end with this:
As many times as I've traveled, I still can't get over the phenomenal feeling that engulfs me when I walk through my own front door (or garage door in this case, but you get the picture). Sure, I was super sad to leave my family that morning. Gosh, I wish I lived closer - I miss them so very much, and seeing them just brings those feelings to the forefront. I mean, I'm about to shed a tear as I type this, and I'm not even dealing with pregnancy hormones! Now THAT'S some serious love for the fam!
But, even still, there's nothing better than home, sweet home. Thank you, God, for such a wonderful blessing. Please let me never take it for granted.