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Thursday, June 2, 2011

SURPRISE!

Monday, May 30 2011 (Memorial Day)

About a month ago, I returned from work one afternoon and was welcomed by David telling me he had talked to my parents.  Now, whereas there’s nothing strange about that, he continued by saying that he “needed to ask them for advice.” About me. Huh?  After 8 years of marriage?  Really? If I could sit down, because he needed to talk to me.  Now, I ceased being able to keep up with the speed at which my brain was working: did I shop (too much)?  Did I forget something?  Did I say something?  Did I not say something?  Maybe I did shop too much.  This cannot be good.


Then he told me: had had wanted to surprise me and didn’t quite know how to go about it.  My best childhood friend (for 30 years) is getting married in my hometown in The Netherlands this Wednesday and he wanted to surprise me with a ticket to attend the wedding to surprise her.  The thing he needed advice from my parents on: should he go ahead and pack my suitcase? Then, have me come home from work one day, only to inform me that that very evening I would be flying out to Europe?  Or, should he tell me now, so I could prepare?


Luckily, my parents (and David too) knew me well enough to know that I am graced with an A-personality and figured that therefore I would appreciate the heads up, so I could arrange someone to cover me for work, get a dress, get accessories, pack myself and shop.  (Notice the recurring element here?)


And here we are.  Approximately a month later: at LAX, enjoying my last Frapuccino (with extra caramel and whipped cream – when you have one, you gotta do it right) before getting on a plane and not be able to have another one until a week from now when I return.  Frappuccino, time and a laptop to write.  Heaven.


This will be my first trip alone – without David, without the children (other than my so-much-enjoyed Mom’s Weekend Out from last year).  Between booking my ticket and yesterday I was ecstatic: a week for myself.  Surprising Saskia, attending her wedding, spending time with my parents, seeing my 2 best friends from college and my “Oma” and playing tourist in my home country.  Not having to keep the boys from bothering each other, from expressing their dominance and from stealing each other’s toys.  Ahhh, peace and quiet.  Even the plane ride: I get to sit back, watch movies, eat, drink and sleep.  That sounded pretty good to me.


Then came yesterday.  I packed and got everything ready for this week’s trip.  And then it hit me: I was also leaving the hugs and kisses, the giggles, the tickles, the bright faces and the “I LOVE you Mommy” behind.  The mixed feelings set in and the excitement was joined by some sadness, melancholy and a small dose of emptiness.


The goodbye at the airport was quick, but left me with watery eyes.  The time I had, waiting to check my luggage, was just enough to once again realize how blessed I was for having such an amazing husband such cool sons.  Life is good.


When I made my reservation I had selected that I preferred an aisle seat.  With legs that are part of a 6ft. body, I desperately need to be able to stretch them – especially on a 10-hour flight.  Imagine my surprise when I checked in online yesterday and I was assigned a middle seat.  Huh?  What had gone wrong?  A phone call to the Delta customer support center didn’t yield much.  I was able to get an aisle seat for the way back.  Dear young, simple soul at the call center:  Please don’t make it sound like you were able to help me out a great deal.  You simply gave me 1/2 of what I should have had to begin with.  That is nothing to be proud about!
 
And there he was: the man who was going to make my day (other than my husband and my 2 boys).  He was the KLM employee behind the check-in counter with whom I was going to try my luck.  And lucky I got, at the KLM check-in counter.  I got the last emergency exit seat.  Ya know, the one with extra legroom.  ChaChing!  Yes Baby!  Mama got lucky and Mama’s LOVIN’ it.  It’s the beginning of a beautiful thing.
Being 3 hours early is paying off in abundance: dropped my suitcase off at the TSA checkpoint without waiting.  Security check: no waiting.  And then: the body scan!  Oh yeah! Complete strangers got to see parts of me that neither my husband, nor I have ever seen myself.  Now, I completely understand the procedure and it certainly provides a certain sense of security, but all I’m saying is “I’m happy I’m not in that particular week of the month.”  You know, when they see what type of feminine hygiene products you use.  AWKWARD!

And here I am.  Judging by the line at the gate that is longer and longer, I think we’ll be boarding soon.  I never really get the reasoning behind that.  Why wait in line, standing, when you will be called to board by row?  There is absolutely no use being in front of the line, when you’re going to be called last anyways.

On that note, let me sign off and pack up here.  Let’s get the party started.

NOTE: due to the surprise-nature of my trip the publishing of this post has been delayed.


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