Saturday, February 25, 2012

to Colorado

Silas, Eden and I are sitting in Denver.  We've been at the airport for 3 1/2 hours.  No one threw up on flight #1 (ALLELUIA!) despite Silas's grey face and my deep breaths and closed eyes as we bounced out of the sky to the runway.

Before we came, I read my journals from when I was pregnant with Silas and Eden.  With both I flew at 10 weeks and with Silas threw up three times and with Eden not at all.  The week has been touch and go -- days of feeling on the verge of vomiting all day long and days of feeling fairly normal.  What day would today be?  I have been dreading traveling: an early morning rushing out the door; a plane; flying alone with the kids; feeling sick before we start.  But our plans are months old, and we had to go.  Ben would meet us at the end of leg #2 with our huge suitcase of ski stuff that -- God bless him -- he lugged all the way to DC and back again so I didn't have to bring it.

After wandering the Denver airport for two hours -- Silas and Eden cheery and chatty -- we settled at our gate to board our second plane, and Ben texted this photo from Aspen:  

Somehow the airline not only shredded our BAG, but Silas's and my winter coats as well.

One minute later, someone on the loudspeaker announced that our flight to Aspen -- the flight on the tiny plane into the mountains that I was most dreading -- was cancelled because of high winds.

                *                *                     *                       *                     *                   *
(I am now writing post-flight)

Long story short, we got re booked on a flight a couple hours later, bought candy, visited the toy story, spread our books and toys on the airport floor, and settled in until we were called from the standby list.

There were not three seats together on the little plane, so Silas sat six rows back in the only other empty seat next to a 25 year old guy who smiled and ushered him in.  As soon as I started to walk away, I realized I had to tell the guy that Silas gets motion sick sometimes.  Somehow he took the news without flinching.  Then a man appeared at my seat and asked if Eden and I wanted to swap rows to sit in front of Silas.  Thank you.  The pilot announced the flight would be extremely bumpy, especially the takeoff and landing, though it would probably be just as bumpy in between.  I breathed.

We took off and the plane began bucking as soon as we were in the sky.  The woman in front of me had her arms wrapped around her armrests, gripping.  I quietly opened both barf bags from our seat back pockets and set them at my feet.  And then, miraculously, we hit a smooth spot.  I breathed.  I almost asked the woman in front of me if I could borrow her US Weekly, but my stomach wasn't quite that settled yet.  And then it began again -- hitting a speed bump at 90 mph -- on and on.  I heard Silas and the angel-man behind me talking about angry birds as he played.  I closed my eyes and breathed and breathed, gulped air.  My stomach went inside out again and again.  Air, more air.  No drink service.  No seat belt sign off.  Just bumps.  Eden grew paler.  As we began the descent she lay on my lap and told me she didn't feel well.  The plane was bouncing.  I held a bag at her chin and sat with the air jets blasting in our faces with my eyes closed, singing under my breath to concentrate on words, intermittently gasping for air.  I leaned into the aisle and told Silas's friend he may want to have a bag ready.  The woman in the pink sweater's knuckles were white.  I closed my eyes again.  There wasn't enough air on the plane.  Breathe, breathe, sing, breathe.  I heard Eden singing to herself too and taking deep breaths, her head on my leg.  I stroked her hair, tried to concentrate on the texture of her static-y hair, breathing.  Suddenly, the ground.  Landed!!!  I immediately I started crying.  Crying so much I couldn't stop; I was weeping, overwhelmed with gratitude and relief.  Nine hours later, we were on the ground!  In tact.  No throwing up!  So many kind people.  Ben, my mom and dad right outside the plane.

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