Oh it’s good to be back home in Hawaii. But I’ll just say it: Traveling can be rough. Especially in this family. Because if you know us at all by now you know that we have a way of making just about everything–complicated.
(And yes, this looks to be an unusually long post, but I can’t seem to cut it down. So if you have real things to do, feel free to carry on.)
Now for the rest of you who need to procrastinate your laundry, or who like a good mystery or a laugh at my family’s expense…
Here’s the story: Yesterday, we flew back to Hawaii from Portland. We made it back safely, and obviously that is the most important thing, but I’ll be the first to say it wasn’t fun. We were tired, Levi was not cooperative, and we were all a tad grouchy.
One small bump in the road was when we lost one of our boys for a short time in the Honolulu airport. Apparently he stopped to use the bathroom, and we all kind of forgot and kept walking toward the baggage claim. We made it quite a distance before noticing that we were missing one, at which time two of us turned back to do a slightly frantic search. Fortunately this particular son has been known to wander off or get separated from the family, so he knew well to find a security person and call his mom’s cell phone. Within ten minutes, we were reunited and all was well. Now please don’t judge me folks. Four boys aren’t easy to keep up with when you’re traveling. If you don’t believe me, you can come get all of my kids and take them on a trip.
Now that wasn’t even a very big deal, but tuck it away because I’ll refer back to it in just a minute.
Well, our flight had come in just after noon, which was awesome because I had a very organized plan for the rest of the day. I figured we had enough time to get home, at least partially unpack, and get my life organized (you know, the SHORT LIST: go through mail, read emails, download photos and begin a post about our time in Oregon, do some laundry…that little list of things that should take an entire weekend, but I unrealistically thought I could tackle in a few short hours.) I was set on this plan because I like to be settled. I do NOT like to be NOT settled. And it all had to be done by five o’clock, when Jonah had soccer practice, and the other two planned to surf, followed by youth group for the boys and a brand-new Bible study for me. Way too much to pack into a day of travel, especially since we had been up since 3 AM Hawaii time, but I can be unreasonable like that.
No margin for error.
After the hour-long drive home from the airport, I walked in the house and tried not to get overwhelmed with that “short list” (above.) I decided that most of all I needed a shower. Traveling makes me feel so very dirty. Plus it might just wake me up. I had a lot to do. And with my hand on the bedroom door, announcing to my family that I would “be in the shower and please give me just five minutes in the shower because I really, really need this, and I really do have a lot to do today….and….”I caught something out of the corner of my eye.
But not just any suitcase. (Needless to say, we traveled with about five of them.)
But this wasn’t one of them.
This was a black suitcase, with a yellow tag on the handle.
My heart sank. NO.
I REALLY DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS.
I grabbed the large yellow tag hanging from the handle (HOW DID WE NOT NOTICE A LARGE YELLOW TAG?) and read someone’s name who was clearly not one of us.
It was the name of a woman with an address in Alaska.
Now it would be one thing if we had left our black suitcase behind, and instead grabbed this poor lady’s bag, but we didn’t. We actually had every single piece of luggage that we had traveled with. Apparently, we just grabbed one extra for the ride. Yes, really.
Next the exhausted adults among us, did the logical thing: I blamed Dave. Dave blamed me. Then we both turned and started blaming the kids. (We are SO mature like that.) Then we ro-sham-bo’d to determine who would be driving BACK to the airport.
And here’s where the losing
Jonah one of our kids story comes in: If you’re one to like solving mysteries and placing blame that is.
You see, while I was off wildly searching for my lost son, Dave and two of the boys were gathering suitcases, and placing them in a little group. (That’s where I BELIEVE the mistake occurred. But I’ll let you make your own conclusion.)
NEXT, after we had found the lost child, the three of us came back to the rest of the family, and all of the bags. Dave called out “Everyone grab a bag, Sandra is out front. Let’s go load up.”
And we did. (Another chance to catch the mistake, yes.)
Then, at the car, I was buckling Levi in, and greeting Sandra, and Dave claims that all of the boys loaded the luggage into the car. (Hmmmm.)
So: Was it the person who grabbed the bag and lined it up with our own?
Was it the one who hauled it out to the car?
Or was it the one who actually loaded it into the car?
Feel free to give your vote, dear friends.
Regardless, the story ends like this: I lost the ro sham bo, and I did not get into the shower, but instead got back into the car and drove back to the airport. (And Dave had the haul kids to their various activities.) The baggage guys received the bag gladly, and didn’t even ask my name or why I took someone else’s bag (odd, don’t you think?) I left a message for the Alaskan visitors, apologizing for
my husband’s, my children’s our family’s mistake, and wishing them a lovely Hawaiian vacation.
I then got into seriously heavy rush hour traffic out of Honolulu, and headed back to the North shore. Five hours had passed since we arrived. I was dirty, exhausted, and frankly not in a good mood.
I was not ready to face my home (or my “short list” which was now seeming 28 miles long,) at this point, so I met up with my family at the end of soccer practice just (6:15 now,) and went directly to drop boys at youth group and myself at Bible study. I had a feeling that Bible study was the best option at that point. (And it was, even if I looked a mess and didn’t contribute a whole lot to the discussion.)
Driving home at 9:30 it was all I could do to keep my eyes open. I fell directly into bed and woke up this morning to face that little list that may take me a week to actually accomplish.
Which is why I am not sharing any Oregon photos, and why my bag is not unpacked and why I am just thinking this is one of those times that I need to just be glad to be alive.
Now I’m wondering if there is a moral to the story.
Maybe: Quit making plans, it’s a waste of time.
Or: Next time just go to the beach.
Or: When you travel, try not to take other people’s bags home with you.
Or: Don’t leave kids’ in the airport bathroom and then walk half-mile to the baggage claim without them?
Or: If you’re dumb enough to travel with four young boys, you’re asking for trouble.
Maybe you have a better one?
Now I’m going to go take a very long shower, and pour a big cup of coffee and get on to that list. I love you all, and I’m so glad I’m not alone in all of this.
Please do come back this weekend! I have some really fabulous photos from our amazing fall days in Oregon, and then later this weekend (or sometime this year,) I may even have some announcements about some things coming up at thegrommom blog!
Until then, ALOHA!!!