Yesterday I wrote about getting my son Reed ready for Colorado -- my wonderfully laid-back, relaxed Reed who reminds me of Crush, the sea turtle from Finding Nemo. I told you how he really is his father's son.
Well, this morning my husband, Tom -- the Father of Crush -- was off to Mexico for a few days. He travels quite a bit, so this is all old-hat. His flight was supposed to leave at 8:41 a.m., and we live about 40 minutes from the airport. We got into bed last night, and I asked him what time he was getting up.
"My alarm is set of 6:00," he said.
"Really?! What time do you plan to leave?"
"I think I'll leave at 7:00. That should be plenty of time."
Um, no. For an international flight? Not plenty of time.
"Is it a direct flight to Mexico, Tom? Or is it domestic for the first leg?"
"No, it's direct," he replied, not catching my meaning.
"Tom, I don't think you're allowing enough time," I suggested.
"No, I think it'll be okay. It takes 35 minutes to get to the airport, 10 minutes for the shuttle [from off-site parking], I'm already checked in, I have TSA pre-check, so I should get through security quickly. And I'm all packed. I'll be fine."
Well, after years of travel, he is a good packer: unlike his son, he always remembers underwear and long pants. But still, I was dubious. I pointed out that his plan did not allow for any unexpected occurrence, like an accident creating traffic on the way, or the shuttle being delayed, or who knows what else. But, the Father of Crush would not be ruffled.
So, just before 7:00 this morning, he headed out the door. I asked him if he remembered everything.
"You have your phone?"
"Yep, and my passport. I'm good."
And he was off.
About 20 minutes later, I went upstairs to our bathroom. What was sitting right on the counter, but his phone. AAArrrrgh! What to do? What to do?
So, I used his phone to call the co-worker that he was traveling with. "Ed! Do you think I should try to run this to the airport for him?"
Ed pointed out he may be en route back home to get it, which would really create a problem. On the other hand, he may not be... He really hadn't allowed enough time for that. And if he had realized his mistake right away, it seemed like he should already be back.
So, I arranged things with Ed. When Ed found Tom at the airport, he would tell him that I would be waiting for him right outside the terminal with it. He would have to leave the secured area and then go back through security again, but it seemed like the best plan. *IF* I didn't pass him on the road.
Heading out of our town, I saw a white Dodge pickup truck, which is his car, driving in the opposite direction. Did the driver of that truck seem a little frantic? He was changing lanes -- was it to gain an advantage in speed? I could turn around on the chance that it was indeed Tom heading back. On the other hand, what if it wasn't?
I thought about it for a minute and called Ivy, still asleep and probably none too happy to be involved in this circus. She said, "Dad just walked in." It was him I had seen, and now I was well on my way to the airport with his phone. Double-argh!
So, he took Ivy's phone with him so we could communicate and got back on the road. We arranged an exit where I could pull over right on the exit ramp, we could do the phone hand-off, and he could jump right back onto the expressway.
We met, did the exchange, and as he pulled away I called to him, "Tom, forget the off-site parking! Just do short-term!" It would cost more, but it would be better than missing his flight.
At 8:15, I get a call from him. He was mad. He had tried short-term parking, and it was full. He drove to long-term, and it was also full. Now, after wasting 15 precious minutes, he was heading back to the off-site parking anyway. "I knew I should have just listened to my gut and gone with the off-site parking in the first place!" he barked.
The implication was clear, and I didn't appreciate it. He was going to miss his flight, and it was all my fault. Next time I will limit my heroics to making sure he has underwear.
The end of the story is that, miracle of miracles, he made the flight. He was even upgraded to first class.
"I wasn't worried," he said. He is the Father of Crush.