Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sans Suitcases

I should have known that I was in for a lifetime of trouble when my husband of 14 days informed me at the Milan airport that he had forgotten half of his wardrobe in a dresser back at our B&B in Lucca.

We were clearly in the "honeymoon stage" back then, as we were wrapping up our honeymoon in Italy. I think I giggled, gazed into his almond shaped dark eyes, and offered him my mom's Burberry shawl to warm his sweet soul as we headed back home.

I don't know when the honeymoon ended. But, it did.

A couple of weeks ago, after months of planning, researching, scheduling, and preparing, we left home for a vacation in California with the boys. I spent several days prior packing, organizing suitcases, debating whether Ninja Turtles or Transformers would be more exciting at 30,000 feet, and whether Play Doh would get through security.

All he had to do was load up the car. Let me say that again.  ALL that he had to do was load up the car. Brute strength was all that was required.

Our packed bags were in various rooms throughout the house. The kids' suitcases had their names embroidered on them, so they were tough to miss, not to mention the fact that our 4 year old had practiced wheeling his bag to the "airport" for weeks around the house.

5:15 a.m. He loaded the car.
5:45 a.m. We arrived at the airport.
6:00 a.m. We entered a surprisingly short security line.
6:01 a.m. I could be overheard saying, "This is AMAZING! We are going to breeze right through this line!"
6:01:30 a.m. "Wait - WHERE are the kids' suitcases?!"
6:02 a.m. "You mean, these carry-ons?"
6:02:02 a.m. "NOOOO....I mean their little rolling suitcases with their NAMES ON THEM!"
6:02:30 "We don't have them."
6:02:31 a.m. "What do you mean, 'we don't have them?'! You left them in the car?"
6:03:03 a.m. "I didn't . . . put them in the car.  I didn't see them."
6:03:04 a.m. "YOU DIDN'T SEE THEM?! Well, we need to go home and get them!"
6:03:05 a.m. "We can't, we'll miss our plane."
6:03:06 a.m. "I CANNOT BELIEVE . . . "
6:03:07 a.m. "What was in them ANYWAY?"
6:03:08 a.m. Smoke seeps out of my ears.
6:03:09 a.m. "ALL OF HIS CLOTHES!!!" I seethe, pointing at our 4 year old, who's making an ascot out of his blue blankie. (The other suitcase had all of our stuff for the first night).
6:03:10 a.m. "Well, we couldn't have carried anything else anyway, " he mumbles. And he's right.
6:03:11 a.m. "He has NOTHING but the clothes on his back and we're going to California for a WEEK!"

I turn my back to him so that the daggers shooting from my eyes don't kill him. I am taking deep breaths.  Trying to remain calm in front of my boys - the TSA agents - and the fellow passengers who are now offering up their cells phones because they overhear our "conversation."

"Are you going to be alright?" my husband tries.

I spin around, ready to claw his face and, lucky for him, just at that moment, I spot an old friend from high school.

"David? What are you doing here?"

"Heading to Seattle, " he says from the next security line over, with a surprised grin on his face. "What about you?"

"I'm about to kill HIM!" I confess, nodding at my husband.  "We are going to California for the week and he just informed me that he FORGOT THE KIDS' SUITCASES AT HOME!"

"Wow, thanks, man, you're making me look really good!" David smiles at my husband.

"Happy to help," he replies.

We all start laughing.

And this is how life works.

You breathe.
You laugh.
And then you move on,
smiling straight through security,
sans suitcases.

(Then, you fly across the country, rent a car, drive straight to Old Navy, and buy your unsuspecting son an entire summer wardrobe).

(And, you let your husband live because he's still the best man you've ever met and life would be nothing without the journey, clothes or not).