Monday, July 31, 2006

What We Did This Weekend - Yikes Edition

Friday afternoon, after coming home from work in the Vanpool, I discovered the the Honda wouldn't start. It would try, but couldn't quite turn over. I had to drive the van home, and all the while I said to myself, "See? You were right! Good thing you didn't get rid of the Minty Squirrel!"

The next morning, I took the van back. I was armed with a wire brush for scraping the corrosion off the battery terminals. It was a bit of a shame though. That blue granular stuff is so pretty! My favorite color actually.

I also brought a gas can, because, well...I drove the car to the Vanpool meeting site on "E". Hey, it was payday, and the gas station is really close, and I could easily fill up the car after work.

It was out of gas.


And although feminist around the world (including me) will cringe when I say it - I am such a girl sometimes.

Saturday was spent with the girls. My last day before they went to Montana. I tend to panic a bit, worrying about if I am doing enough things to properly say goodbye. I make them their favorite food, I kiss them incredibly often, I even took them for a carriage ride at the Farmer's Market - and we waved to the backed up traffic as if we were princesses. It was a great day.

It may be a bit morbid, but I always feel like we need to have an extra-special time before they go. I know the odds are against it....but what if something did happen to their plane? Or something happens when they are over there and this is the last time I get to ever see, touch or kiss them?

Ugh. I am normally not a worrier.

Sunday morning rolled around after I spend the majority of the night waking up worrying that I wouldn't wake up.

I stuffed some money in my purse, thinking that I would have enough money to get them a special coloring book when we got there. However, when checking in I realized that I had to pay $30 for the escort to get them safely on and off the plane.

I had $32.

Parking was going to be at least $6.

I actually started sweating right there at the ticket counter thinking about being trapped forever in the airport. How the hell was I going to get out of the parking garage? My first thought was that I would bother telling the girls about the predicament and just get them on the plane before I worried about calling someone. Then I realized that they expected those coloring books.

I sat them down and explained what had happened and coloring books were not in the cards right now. They weren't even worried about that, they were worried about me getting out of the airport.

"Call Kristy! Hurry Mom!"

So I did. It was $1 per call and when I called her voice mail picked up....

"Um....Hi Kristy? It's Shari. I'm at the airport and all I have is $1 and I can't get out of's a long story. Anyway....if you get this, could I maybe borrow $10? I will be outside baggage claim at the Alaska Airlines sign.....if you get about 10 o'clock...."

It was horrible. Where was she? Would she check her voice mail?

No matter. It was time for the girls to start boarding.

The planes that fly to Montana are not your typical jets. They are larger prop planes, and you actually have to walk out onto the Tarmac to board them. The man came to escort the girls, an old lady in a wheel chair and a girl with a broken ankle to their plane. (At this point I started to wonder exactly why did I have to pay $30 dollars when my girls were with a bunch of other people...I should have only had to pay $10! Then I would have had enough money to pay for parking and coloring books!)

The escorted passengers walked on to the elevator. The old woman waved to her two 50-ish year old daughters standing beside me, "Goodbye girls! I love you!"

They yelled and waved back, "Bye Mom!!"

At the same time my girls were standing next to the old woman, jumping up and down, yelling "Bye Mom!!"

As I was tearing up, waving and yelling, "Goodbye girls! I love you!"

It was my present and my future -right there.

Then, I felt sorry for the poor girl with the broken ankle who no one was waving or yelling to, so I yelled, "Bye broken ankle girl!" and ruined the whole moment.

And I didn't out-and-out cry, but I did have to wipe some tears as they headed toward their plane. The motley crew of passengers that needed a little help. They were so adorable.

When the plane took off, I reached in my purse for my last dollar. My last chance at not becoming Tom Hanks in "The Terminal". I couldn't decide if I should try Kristy again, or somebody new. I finally settled on Kristy, and dialed with shaking hands....

And her daughter answered the phone. She was laughing and yelling, "Hey Aunt Shari! We're here! We're parked right by your car! My Mom brought you a latte!!"

How the hell she found my car in the humongous parking garage with 6 levels, and the fact that I chose hourly parking and not general - I will never, ever know. Kristy just insists she knows how I think.

So, I walk to my car - that is full of gas - getting hugs, and elbows in the ribs, and a $10 bill, and a coffee for the drive home.

I guess I'm not alone after all.



At 8:46 AM, Blogger Bobo the Wandering Pallbearer said...

I can heartily agree that you are NOT a normal worrier.

At 8:48 AM, Blogger Ant said...

And you're not alone in the slightest! You're making friends all the time - for instance, I bet broken-ankle-girl has a special place in her heart (and maybe her ankle) for you...

At 11:57 AM, Blogger trinamick said...

Isn't it great to people like that in your life? I can't count the times my friends/family have helped me out of jam. Makes me wonder how dependable I am...

At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You had to pay $30 for someone to walk from the terminal across the tarmac and to the plane? Yikes! What is that on an hourly basis? How do I get that job?

At 4:17 PM, Blogger rennratt said...

I would say, as a mom, that your emotions are dead on. Right down to worrying about a plane crash - and spending extra time with them before they leave.

Your Kristy knows (and loves you) very well. You are incredibly blessed.

At 9:30 PM, Anonymous megan said...

God, I love that story....and I love Kristy.

Ofcourse, it takes a certain kind of person to gather that kind of friend.....


At 6:18 AM, Blogger Christine said... are the sweetest ever! and yay for Kristy. If you see her around, I am often in need of ten dollars...I wonder what the parking folk would have done to you if you just couldn't cough up the ten?

You and the girls. So cute.

At 6:54 AM, Blogger Amy said...

What a great story! It's so hard to let the kids go, isn't it? I do like you do, wanting the last moments to somehow be so special that they will always know no matter what that I love him! I hope they arrived safely! just think of how happy you will be upon their return!

I love your friend coming to rescue you, too! That's so wonderful! And she obviously knows you so well! Hang on to her!

At 4:33 PM, Blogger Janie said...

fabulous story. very touching. i miss you and your beautiful girls. and i'm sure they miss their mummy!


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