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.