We got back yesterday from my Mother-in-laws memorial service; she passed away from cancer in January. Sometimes it's still hard to believe all the losses we've suffered in the last year and a half. We miss her...
Because it was going to be a quick out of state trip, we decided to fly by plane. John, Chelsey, and I do our share of traveling by plane, but when it's with the boys, we pack up the mini-van. This was the first flight for Evan, and the first time for the older two since they were around 3 and 1 (AWFUL experience).
So naturally, I spent several days preparing and worrying (just a bit) about how this was all going to go down. This is what I had planned for: Matt was going to have an terrible time going through security, Matt probably wasn't going to be too happy about the plane, Kyle would go along with everything fairly easily, and Evan, oh Evan, was going to be a handful. So I spent time with Matt the day before talking about what was going to happen at the security check. I spent time telling Evan all about getting on a plane and going up in the air. And Kyle, well, he knew the general plan.
And this is what happened: Oops, forgot to tell Evan about the shuttle ride from parking lot to airport, although, really, I don't think it would have made a difference. He wasn't happy. And I thought, 'Here we go.' But once we got in the airport, he stopped screaming. And then, he discovered moving walkways, and I think that set the tone for the rest of his trip.
Security: We gave them a heads up, and the first guy, a 74 year old man (he told us), the one we gave our ID's to, was the kindest, gentlest, sweetest man. He told us how proud we should be proud of our family. Sometimes people don't realize how much of an impact their words can have--the positive kind of impact. Then it was time to take off our shoes and go through the detector. And as predicted, Matt's anxiety started up as soon as the shoes started coming off. And on his way through the detector, he slammed both sides of it with his fists. The high point, kudos to the security people; they were VERY understanding. Even though our kids can be so good at blending in at times, this was one time when it was so important to make sure all were aware of the situation, just in case. To sum up Matt's story, he was great the rest of the trip. He LOVES flying. He especially liked that they came around with snacks and beverages. He did much better going through security on the way home--no incident.
Kyle: He was good, he was cooperative, but.....
Okay, so I thought he would be fine on the plane. And for the most part, although he didn't like it, he was "fine." Except the moment the wheels left the runway on that very first flight.
He let out a scream unlike no other.
And you know, although I couldn't see too many of the other passengers reactions, I didn't feel like people reacted. I'm guessing they did, I mean, everyone heard it, but I didn't even notice the ones near us turn around. My reaction? I laughed. He was sitting behind me, so he didn't see me laughing, but really, what he did is what I have felt like doing on some flights. And then there's the landing. "We're all going to die!!" Once again, maybe not all, but many people probably heard this.
So for the next flight of that day, we rapid-fire quizzed him heavily on NASCAR drivers, their car numbers, crew chief, and sponsors as plane was going down runway. It helped greatly to keep his mind occupied on something else. The flights home went smoothly, although he clearly wanted to go home, and his topic of conversation all through those flights was finding my caravan (parked at the airport).
Then there's Evan. He surprised me in the best way. He likes flying. He did so well, of course, that's being said in a relative manner. For our first flight, we had to sit on our plane for almost an hour while they waited for an available gate. Thank you iPad and books. By the time we got on our second flight, which was delayed, he was tired. After we got up in the air, he kept himself entertained by buckling and unbuckling his seat belt. He's always had a thing for buckles and latches. Yeah, things were going good until...
the flight attendant who wasn't on duty, she was sitting behind us, apparently got annoyed with the "clicking" noise of the seat belt. (Oh yeah, when we were doing rapid fire questioning with Kyle, I could see her shaking her head). SO, she gets out of her seat and says to me, "You realize that's not a toy, right? You're going to need to make him stop playing with it." I think what bothers me most is the way it was said. I mean really, I know it's not a toy. I just gave an awkward smile; she caught me off guard. So, I made him stop playing with it. And although I felt badly about how upset he was for at least the next half hour, and I felt badly for the rest of the passengers, I just couldn't help thinking, "There, you like this better?" He ended up falling asleep near the end of the flight. His return trip went well, loved the Detroit airport and all its moving walkways, escalators, fountain, and elevated tram. Oh, yeah, and he had a fever that morning...Friday, too. Thankful for tylenol and motrin, and he's off to the doctor in about an hour.
(Hmm, should probably read things a little closer before hitting "publish post." I don't know how what I know I typed disappeared.) At the first airport of yesterday's trip, we sat besides a woman who was looking at Evan and me while I read to him. One might say she was "staring," but I didn't think it was in a negative way. She asked how old he was. I think that's a common way for someone to say, "Hey, I noticed something is perhaps a bit different about your child, but I'm not sure what, and I'm not going to ask, so I'll ask how old he is, hoping you'll tell me more." Because really, is there a way to ask about the behaviors of someone's child? Before I even said the words Fragile X...I had only got to the part about him having delays... she said she was a teacher and was wondering if he was on the spectrum. And you could tell she kind of was hesitant about what she had just said. I told her the very, very basics of Fragile X and gave her the web address for the foundation, because like so many, she had never heard of it.
So yeah, overall, good trip, but I must add that I was in bed by 8 last night. I never go to bed that early.