Monday, April 14, 2008

Coming Home

I enjoyed my weekend trip to Houston for a friend's wedding. I went alone. Because it was a bit cheaper, I chose to take a connecting flight out of a nearby smaller airport, at which it is also easier to park and drive. I just considered it part of my trip.

It was hot when I got off the commuter flight to Newark. I don't know what the temperature was outside--probably an above-average 70 degrees--but the airport was stifling. I stretched my flight-cramped legs as I walked through the three legs of the terminal to see what the dinner offerings might be. I wanted something cool, healthy, and filling. I returned to Au Bon Pain, where I had noted the Mediterranean Veggie Wrap as a promising option.

The sandwich did not disappoint -- salty pungent olives and sun-dried tomato hummus spread on a wrap filled with tomatoes, cucumbers, feta and field greens. I also found a nice spot in their dining area by a window. As I relaxed, my thoughts turned to my kids:

"Amanda would have loved to sit at this table with the high stools."

"Kyle would have loved to watch all the vehicles going by this little corner of the airport--the inter-terminal tram, buses, service trucks, vans, and even those luggage carts."

I did enjoy traveling alone. I appreciated the slower pace and the opportunity to have uninterrupted chats with my family. I was able to sleep a little late, and check my email and drink my coffee in peace, but in the shower I found myself humming a song from the Wiggles CD that is currently in heavy rotation in our car.

"I want another cuppa Dor-o-thy's lovely rosy tea. . . . "

"Please. . . try something different (another cuppa rosy tea)."

On my return trip from Newark, I had the opportunity to take a $400 travel voucher in exchange for giving up my flight. The problem is that I had already been in the airport for over two hours, and the next flight was six hours away. I actually could have driven to Hartford in far less time, which Terry suggested, but since I was about to get on the flight that would take me home, I went ahead and boarded.

You can take me away from the kids, but you can't take the kids outta me--annoying Wiggles music and all. When I once again regain full control of my car stereo, I will miss it.

I wonder if my dad felt the same way early Sunday morning as we prepared to leave to catch my 8:00am flight. "Here--there's a banana and a breakfast bar in the sack. Do you want an apple, too?" I don't know when my dad ever packed my lunch, but here he was sending his thirty-seven year old daughter off on her long day of travel with a bagged breakfast.

It comforted me to know that just as Dad as still taking care of me, I will still feel the responsibility of parenting my kids thirty years from now. I can only hope that they will still let me.


Adventures In Babywearing said...

I LOVE Au Bon Pain! I haven't eaten there in forever! Soon you'll be flying again... we'll have a great weekend!


Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

For some reason we've never been able to take advantage of those voucher offers either! And flying through PVD they offer them ALL the time. Sounds like you had a really nice trip. Nice trips are good for helping a person appreciate what she has at home. = )

Lori said...

What a sweet post. Sounds like a weekend that was needed - and was just long enough without missing the little ones too much.

Dianne said...

Sounds like just long enough of a getaway. I think I'd have passed on the voucher also - 6 hours in the airport - no thanks!

Dad said...

Thanks for the accolades; but I must confess that Susan put out the banana and breakfast bar. However, I did get the apple out and even washed it. Oh, the sack was my idea. We sure enjoyed having you all to ourselves for the two great visits.

Katrina said...

This was sweet. I'm the same way -- it seems that if I'm not with the kids, I'm thinking about them. I guess that's all tied up in the definition of Mom.