Monday, June 11, 2012
We made it
Our flight was scheduled to bring us back to Pittsburgh tomorrow by 2pm. Departure from Gulfport would be 9am, so we were up and ready to go by 7. We marvelled at the girls' quick understanding of travel mornings, how they don't dawdle or fuss or delay at all and just get on with it quite happily. We appreciated what great travellers they are. We had no idea.
All day Saturday, it had rained, sometimes hard and sometimes not, but lots and lots of rain. Sunday was the same, but the rain came in storm cells of seriously heavy downpours. Dangerous storm cells, it turns out. Our flight was first delayed until 10:25, then 11:25, then 12:23...and then cancelled. I spent nearly an hour on the phone with customer service, and we were finally rebooked onto USAirways, getting into Pittsburgh at 9:30pm and to the apartment after 10pm.
Through it all, the girls were truly amazing. We are blessed with such incredible children! They didn't whine or fuss or meltdown (as most adults might have, let's be honest). They did so beautifully well. We felt so very proud (and in awe). When boredom started setting in at around noon, I drew a face on the bottom of a paper bag and used the bag as a puppet, which Stephanie completely fell in love with straight off. We brought the bag puppet with us. When it was his turn, Markus decided the puppet spoke German, and we have found a golden new way to practice with the girls. Neither could resist talking to it, but Stephanie especially was enraptured. That wrinkled old lunch bag came alive for her. She stroked it while she talked to it tenderly. She dressed it in her cardigan when the air conditioning was a bit too much. I'm pretty sure she talked to that puppet the entire flight from Charlotte to Pittsburgh (hours past her bedtime). I tried to take a picture with my phone, but the inside of the plane was too dark to capture the moment. Markus and I couldn't help but think how easily we'd been tempted to just go buy an iPad "so they'd have something to do", and how so very incredible are children's imaginations if you just let them run free instead. Wow.
Ellie was also a champ, but there was no surprise there. She is such a seasoned traveler. Now that she reads, she cannot be stopped. She had brought several chapter books with her, and she had those out. One of her new favourite activities is copying her books out, word for word, into her journal. She did that on one flight for over an hour. But the best Ellie story from yesterday? As we waited in Gulfport for our USAirways departure, she spent most of the time reading over the shoulder of a young guy's Sport Fishing magazine. He let her do that for ages. When he finally put the magazine down, she asked me to find out if she could have it. He wasn't done with it, but he let her borrow if for the flight to Charlotte. She read it avidly with an intent expression while he snoozed in the row behind us. We were so tickled. When we asked her what she liked about the magazine, she simply shrugged and said she liked sharks and it had sharks. Well, ok then.