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Traveling Through Trials to Meet Baby Rhett

Can you believe that the airlines actually mean it when they urge passengers to arrive 60 to 90 minutes before flight time? Who would have guessed anyone seriously followed such a principle?

My husband and I made reservations on SW Airlines to fly to California and meet our newest grandson, Rhett. We felt pleased with ourselves for arranging non-stop flights in both directions. We woke early the morning of the flight, eager to go. Unfortunately, we had not gotten to bed at anything close to a reasonable hour the night before, and weariness caused us to move in slow motion. As we pulled out of the driveway, Chris announced the time. I replied, “We should be checking in at this very minute.”

Off we dove like a herd of speeding turtles. “Be calm,” I urged in my most soothing tone. To be honest, we tried our best to pick up the pace. Unfortunately, our increased efforts no longer make much of a difference. Chris parked, and I ‘raced’ about getting bags checked in and boarding passes secured. As we hobbled (at our highest speed) to our gate, the doors of the airplane slammed shut.

We felt certain airline personnel would gladly open the door for two smiling senior grandparents. If they just understand about the new baby. . . But no. As the airplane (our airplane) sped off into the skies, we looked blankly at one another. For years, we have played the game of “Let’s challenge ourselves by arriving at the last minute.” It had always worked so well before.

The outcome of missing our flight? We sat in some of our nation’s finest airports in Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Diego before finally arriving in Oakland. We spent the day dining on airline peanuts as we witnessed a variety of clothing choices by airline personnel. We met many interesting people, including a young military man. Not a bad day at all. Not quite what we had expected, but really ok in a sort of semi-miserable way.

Baby Rhett had promised to be patient until we could arrive the next morning. When we finally saw his little face, we knew he was well worth our efforts. This premature little guy weighed in at 3 pounds, 15 ounces. We feel very thankful that he got off to a good start with nursing and continues to progress well.

Perhaps, we will get to the airport earlier in the future. Or — maybe we will continue our frantic but somewhat pathetic rush, the drama, and the adrenalin high that accompanies such exertion.


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