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My older three children went to visit my parents today.  They went on an airplane.  By themselves.  They crossed state lines, two of them. By themselves.  On an airplane.  Did I mention they went by themselves.  Let me tell you, heaven help me when they really leave the nest.  This crap is tough!

LAST FRIDAY:

McKayla:  I’m packed!

Me:  For what?

Her:  I’m going to Cali!

I don’t know where she gets this from.  I don’t start packing until the night before trip, and really that’s only if I can’t find something to procrastinate it until the morning of.

YESTERDAY

7am: 

Mike:  I need a suitcase.

Me:  Are you leaving right now?

repeat this conversation until about 3pm when he finally wore me down.

We then spent about an hour trying to condense the amount of things they wanted to take. We shuffled suitcases and condensed until we got three kids into two small carry on size roller bags and two backpacks.  The whole time Jacob was whining and crying about not getting to go on airplane.

7pm:

Me:  It’s bedtime!

Jacob & Nate:  WHAT?!?!  It’s so early!!! The sun is still out!!!

Me:  I know but we have to get up before the crack of dawn tomorrow.

Jacob:  Tomorrow is going to be my worse day ever!

Me:  Tomorrow hasn’t even started yet.  It will be a great day!

Jacob:  No, it’s going to be the worst day ever.  Marshall and Mike and McKayla are leaving me behind tomorrow.  (cry, cry, sob, sob)

TODAY

4:14 am my alarm goes off.

4:30 Marshall and Mike come bounding up the stairs fully dressed smiling.  (I hate them a little bit).  I start the coffee pot.

4:45  We eat yogurt and poptarts (which I bought specifically for the 4 am wake up.  Turns out no one really loved pop tarts.  Thank goodness!  I don’t even want to know what is in them.)

5:00 We get in the car.

too early!I know that’s a terrible picture and it’s dark and you can’t make out much.  I think it captures the morning perfectly.  Dark and too early.

5:30 arrive at the airport.

5:40 find a parking space.  Floors 1-5 full.  For the love of sleep!  Why are we all flying so early in the freaking morning!

5:45 arrive in the ticketing line.

The line is pretty short, maybe 10 groups of people in front of us.  The Alaska airlines ticket agents are incredibly slow!  Incredibly slow! Slow and pretty worthless.  If you’re an Alaska airlines ticketing agent, I’m sorry, I’m sure it must be in your union contract that you can’t help more than 6 people an hour.

It amazes me that the machine can spit out my boarding pass in 15 seconds but it takes you 15 minutes.

waiting in the long, long, line

6:30

Me:  My three kids are flying unaccompanied today on flight blah at 7:32.

Her:  Hold on, I’m not quite ready.  (I guess the ten minutes with the other passenger wasn’t quite enough time). Okay, what did you need?

Me:  My three kids are flying unaccompanied today on flight blah at 7:32.

Wonderful! What flight.

Me:  Flight blah at 7:32.

Her:  Wonderful!  What are their names?

Me:  I tell her.

Her:  Okay, do they have bags to check.

Me:  No.

Her:  Okay.  What were their names again?

Me:  Seriously? I tell her again.  And hand her the unaccompanied minor form with all of the information on it.

Her:  Thanks!  Do they have bags to check?

Me:  NO!

Her:  Wonderful.  (a baby starts to cry and she gets distracted.  Not my baby.  Not even a baby in the line. No wonder this is taking so long).  Do they have bags to check?

Me:  No.

Her:  Okay, that will be $75.

Me:  For what?

Her:  The unaccompanied minor fee.

Me:  Fine.

Her:  Thank you.  And here are their wings.  They must wear them at all times.

Mike:  Can I have real wings.  I want real gold wings.

Her:  No, we only do stickers.

Me:  I guess my $75 can’t spring for some plastic wings anymore.

Unaccompanied minors

and then she needed my id to print me a security pass.  and she needed id for the twins.

Me:  They are 5.

Her:  What is their name and birthday?

Me:  Seriously?

(at this point one of the Alaska Airlines agents asks everyone in line if they wouldn’t mind letting 4 people cut in line because they have a 7:30 am flight)

Me:  Yes,  I mind.  They should have got up at 4AM WITH 4 KIDS and WAITED IN THIS LONG LINE!!  (it turns out my opinion didn’t matter because I was already with the agent.  It also turns out that the people in line are much nicer than I am).

Her:  Okay, your plane will be boarding at 7:02

Me:  I’m so glad we got here two hours early so that we could wait in your slow line in order to be late for boarding.

6:50

We go into the family security line.  Thank goodness for family line which is very short!  Thought the family line is short, the wait is long because people with children are stupid.

Them:  What?  I have to take off my shoes?

TSA:  only children under 12 may keep their shoes on.

Them:  I have a kid under 12.

Them:  What?  I have to take out my liquids and gels?  My laptops?  And all of the other things that is on a big sign and being repeated over and over and over again.

Mike:  Look!  If you are under 12 you don’t have to take your shoes off!  If I was a terrorist I’d put a bomb in my kid’s shoes.

Me:  SSSSHHHHH!

Mike:  Don’t you think that would be a good idea?  Maybe a plastic gun in your kid’s shoes.  Maybe it doesn’t even have to be your kid.

Me:  SSSSHHHHH!!!

Guess who gets randomly selected for extra security measures?

Yep, me.  Awesome.

And Jake was super lucky and had his cast swabbed too.

Mike:  Yeah a cast would be a great place to keep a super sharp knife!

Me:  MIKE BE QUITE!!!!

We then headed over to the recombobilation zone to put our shoes back on.

McKayla:  Marshall will you tie my shoes.

Marshall:  Fine.  (best brother ever!)

oh the itch!

7:05  we get to the boarding gate were they are ready to board.  We hug and kiss.

Mckayla:  Pretty soon you’re gonna be dropping me off at the airport to go to college.

Me:  I know, but I’ll be able to just drop you off at the curb. No waking up at 4 am.  No unaccompanied minor.

Ticketing agent:  Did you pay the minor fee for her?

Me: yes.

Her:  Oh, you didn’t have to do that.

Me:  Can I get a refund.

Her:  Sorry, it’s too late.

Me:  Of course it is.  sigh

Her:  Okay, guys are you ready?

There they go.

I’m not gonna lie, I cried a little bit.

Her:  Ma’am you will have to wait until the plane is IN the air before you leave.

Me:  No problem.  Nate and Jake let’s go look at their plane.

That entertained them for about 6 minutes.  Good byeWe read a book, walked around the terminal, played with the talking water fountain, watched the planes, whined and counted down the minutes until we could leave.

7:50 We finally left the gate, just the three of us.  I can’t even remember the last time I said, “just the three of us”.  It’s gonna be a long couple of weeks.

 

 

 

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