In the beginning of the year we found out that one of Dadam's cousins (who we are really close with) was getting married (to a FAB lady, I might add). I immediately told Dadam I wanted to go. He wasn't too sure. For one thing, flying everyone back over the ocean is a considerable financial burden. Secondly, we would need to make a stop in DC to see Dadam's parents and also go to CO, where the wedding was going to be. But, I argued, we would get to see most of our family and some of our friends. Plus we could share in the wedding festivities. What could be better than all that?!?!?!? Over time, I convinced him and we made our plans. It turned out that the wedding would be over a period of time when the kids already had some time off school, so out of our two week trip they would only be missing six days of school. Not bad! September arrived before we knew it and it was time to GO!
Of course, we had to make things challenging for ourselves by scheduling our flight to leave early on a Sunday morning. What could be wrong with that, you say? The day before was Yom Kippur, a day when we Jews fast for 24 hours and attend services. Yeah, it's intense. Because the holiday begins at sundown on the previous day, Friday night, this meant I had to have everything packed no later than Friday afternoon. For those of you who know me personally, you would be right to be skeptical that this would actually occur. In addition to that small bump, I foolishly agreed to host the Break-the-Fast for our local Masorti group, at our house. And that would be occuring on Saturday night, at about eight o'clock. I am a lunatic. Thankfully everything came off just fine and we were able to get to the airport on time and all in one piece. Dadam and I didn't even have an argument, that's how not stressed we were. (Or maybe that means we are growing up in our relationship, I dunno.)
I was slightly worried about how we were going to keep the kids entertained on the plane for seven and a half hours. I hate flying. Really. And our kids are good. Really, really good. They don't throw temper tantrums, they don't yell, they are typically polite and thoughtful of one another and us, but I still really find flying with them a bit on the painful side. For one, there is all the stuff we need to bring; four backpacks, four waterbottles, snacks, blankets, books, colored pencils, dolls, cars, etc ad nauseum or at least ad back-ache. We were taking some red eye flights and so we had their four pillows with us as well. After getting through security and getting on the plane, we discovered that each seat had it's own touch screen! There were games, movies and TV shows all on demand. The kids could start watching something, stop, start another one, play a game, play a game with another person(!) and then watch something else. They were enthralled!!!! There were even games that Leila could play. It was fantastic. The time flew by and Dadam and I even got to watch a movie each. It was so nice to be able to pause it, deal with the kiddos, and then go back to watching!
Our first stop was DC, where we stayed overnight with our friends Prospero and MissAuFait and their four children. They were so kind to open their home to an additional six (jetlagged, smelly, loud, hyper) people. Our kids and their kids began playing immediately, as though they had just seen each other last week, as opposed to five months ago. It was FABULOUS. MissAuFait made a delicious dinner, the children were happy, life was good. I could not believe how well the kids were handling the jet-lag. Monday morning we woke up and everyone was still doing just fine. We spent a wonderful day just hanging out. And it was great.
Monday night we said goodbye (after Prospero drove us to the airport, helped us offload, and wanted to tell off a traffic cop for refusing to look the other way while Prospero helped us inside). We ended up with a VERY late flight out of DC. It left at ten PM. This got us into CO at an extremely late hour. As we were waiting in line to check in, Noodle began to melt down. Foolishly, I had not brought the ergo with us. I don't know what I was thinking. She just needed to be held and I needed to help with bags and checking in. I ended up laying her on the floor of the airport check-in terminal, on a large pile of pillows, tears streaming down her face. LuLu began to sob as well and PrincessE and theBoy-Child just looked absolutely exhausted. That was the first time I thought to myself, "What the h&*%$ was I thinking?!!?!?! This was a terrible idea!!" But we got checked in and scooped up the babes and headed off to security.
Once we got on the plane, every.single.one. of us was asleep before take off and we ALL slept the whole time, waking up only when the pilot said, "Welcome to Denver." We got off the plane and more crying ensued. Dadam left us at the luggage claim while he went to get the rental car. PrincessE was running a fever and had a horrid cough and runny nose (something she had not had when we left England on Sunday morning!). I finally convinced the kids to lay down on their pillows, in a quiet corner, while I grabbed the luggage. By the time I finished getting all the luggage, they were all asleep again. I covered them and I layed down with them and I fell asleep.
A while later, I woke up again. Still no Dadam. PrincessE woke up with a start, "I can't sleep!!! Where's Daddy? Where has Daddy gone? He's NOT COMING BACK. I KNOW!" And she began to sob. I cuddled her and got her calmed down and she fell asleep again. I went back to sleep. Sometime later, PrincessE woke up again and this time was completely non-linear about the fact that Dadam was not yet back and that he wasn't coming back. I admit, I was beginning to be concerned. Not that he had abandoned us in the airport, but that something bad had happened. As I was going through something to say to PrincessE to reassure her that Daddy *was* coming back, he came back. Oh sweet relief. The rental car company took AGES to get Dadam to the office and then there was only one person working the counter!!! We woke everyone up, straggled out to the car, pur in all the car seats and drove to the hotel. It was only half two in the morning. BAH!