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Dad’s Journal: Final Approach

Our flight in from South Florida to Greenville, SC went quite smoothly. It’s a treat to be able to fly with my son, and it’s simply a treat for him to fly. It brings a smile to my face every time we get to do things that he enjoys so much that you can just read the wonder and sense of adventure in his face. It is, in fact, almost a fix that I must have – I love seeing that and never want it to go away!

It’s also interesting to just people-watch or eavesdrop in the airport or on the plane when there’s nothing else to do. I know you’ve seen these situations:

1) The mother traveling alone with multiple children in tow. She has one strapped to her, one in a stroller and another young one holding her hand. You feel like you should help this woman, what, with the multiple sippy cups, snacks and diaper bags she’s juggling while trying to keep the crew content enough as to not cause a negative scene. I am truly amazed at what she is doing – Lord knows I couldn’t do it. But make no mistake – she wants you to know what she is doing. She is in control, and, my point here is, SHE IS LETTING EVERYONE IN THE AIRPORT know as much! She is Kate Gosselin on steroids, speaking so loudly giving a detailed play-by-play of every move she is making that waiting passengers are reacting three gates down. And the “ooohhhs” and “ahhhhs” she is craving are returned to her in bulk. My son and I, meanwhile, are one row behind this sideshow, and my concern quickly moves from the woman to how soon the boarding call will come. Yes, little boy, I will get you a doughnut from Dunkin Doughnuts! Yes, the little girl has secured her sippy cup! THE BABY WILL NOW BE CHANGED AT THE RESTROOM! Anyone and everyone invited? Film at 11! Seriously, I hope you had a great trip, Super Mom. But you didn’t have to say a word above a whisper to impress us.

2) Here we are boarding the plane. To me, this may be a more stressful part of flying than preparing for a water landing, or whether to put the oxygen mask on first and then get my child’s in place. Why? The seating arrangement. As we board and look for our row we are met with anxious or even ugly looks, if the already seated passengers bare to look at all. “Please, do not take the precious middle seat” is streaming from their pores like alcohol and hamburger grease from a David Hasselhoff all-nighter. Meanwhile, knowing there are two of us, I’m setting the standards much lower for who may be occupying the third seat – just don’t smell…of anything. Two hours of even the best aroma will give me a headache. I used to evaluate all of the women before boarding to hope and pray I’d wind up next to the hottest one, but a) that never worked, b) even if it did I’d have to endure the ugly looks from her, and c) I gave it up years ago when I married the hottest woman in the world. Anyway, this time we luck out. At least when you board late you don’t have to go through both parts of that stress. We settle in with no more worries.

3) Everybody’s a pilot. Behind us is a guy who apparently has taken flying lessons. He’s critiquing our pilot’s performance most of the way. I’m simply impressed that the captain is keeping his foot on the gas – we are due to arrive about 15 minutes early! What flights do that anymore? As we make our final approach, the flight student says that there’s one thing pilot’s either have or don’t have – touch – and this pilot evidently doesn’t have it.

As we’re just about to land, I hear a woman reassure her child – “Don’t worry, we’re almost to the bottom.”

As our pilot, much to the flight student’s credit, double dribbles us onto the tarmac, our journey is complete, and our new life is about to begin.

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Dad’s Journal: The Big Move

Well, after a week of no internet access (which was not entirely a bad thing), we’re back and ready to embark on our next big adventure as a family.

As mentioned previously, part of this adventure involves the great one-on-one quality time I am getting with my 10-year-old son Casey and my wife is getting with 8-year-old Joshua 750 miles away. During the next week, we both are going to chronicle some of highlights of that time hoping that maybe you can relate or draw something from the documentation.

We are in the midst of a big move, from South Florida to Upstate South Carolina. There are so many things that go into a move, from leaving friends and family, to leaving a home and getting another, to new jobs, communities, churches, schools and people to get integrated with and somehow find a new comfort zone. In our situation, as in many it seems I’ve come across lately, the move also involves some sort of temporary separation of the family as well.

I know most to most of you reading this none of what I just listed is necessarily new at all – most of us have been through multiple moves in our lives – but it doesn’t make the stresses on the family unit any less difficult each time a move takes place.

I am hoping that with this documentation of our situation that you’ll consider commenting on any and every post, sharing your experiences in similar situations. And by having this entire ordeal chronicled and archived, I’m hoping to be able to not only learn but to share the good and the bad with those in the future who face similar circumstances.

So, rather than the regular informational features we have here, for the next week this blog will read more like a diary than anything else. I hope you enjoy it, can relate to it, and maybe even can learn from it.

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