Tuesday, March 07, 2006

An Other Time

I'm jetlagged. Still. After a quick trip to a destination with just a three hour time difference from home, I don't know when to sleep, when to eat. I do too much of one and not enough of the other. Perhaps it isn't jetlag, but a delayed recovery from a five hour delay, which had unfolded by increments ranging from 1/2 hour to 5 minutes, always keeping us on the edge of our unbelievably uncomfortable seats. At the last, we had a plane, a pilot, and no flight crew. Once we had a crew, we had 18 minutes to board. There was no way I was going to make it back before bedtime, as I had promised.

I've learned several things that I'd like to share with you:

Do not fly through O'Hare. Do not fly on Oscar night with the expectation that you will make it home for any portion of the Oscars. Do not ask the airport staff to change the channel - they are not authorized to allow you to watch the Oscars, or anything other than Headline News. But, if you've TiVoed the Oscars, Headline News will spoil it for you.

Do not ask for valium. I didn't, but apparently "fifteen people" had asked the customer service agent for that particular service, which he regretfully could not provide.

Do not expect your patience to be rewarded. It was still just a beverage flight, after all that.

Nothing is in your control.

Do not fly through O'Hare.

I talked to a couple on their way back from a Carribean cruise. I talked to a family with four(!) of the best behaved boys I've ever seen. I talked on the phone to a loved one on bedrest, many time zones away. She's been on bedrest for five weeks already. Her baby will be born soon (we hope for two more weeks) and that baby will be a miracle. She already is.

I talked to a young serviceman on the way home, and a navy retiree. The latter said she was only ever aware of "real" time between Friday afternoon and 6 am Monday morning. But I am aware, at almost every moment, of the passage of time.

Sometimes it moves too slowly. Five years ago, I was on bedrest, willing the time to move faster, that we could just get closer to term. (Though the first time I was hospitalized I wanted to halt time -stretch it out - so I could have more of it with my little boy still healthy and safe). Recently a judge's vacation in Addis Ababa delayed court processing of children waiting for parents, and parents waiting for referrals. There are about 22 families waiting for their baby girls before we'll be referred ours. It could take three more months.

But most of the time, it moves too fast. We just received a letter welcoming us to kindergarten for the fall.

Please arrive at the airport two hours prior to boarding for check-in procedures. Your short flight will be delayed for five hours. You'll lose time on the trip, and you'll never get it back.

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