Plus, the carpets have dried out enough for me to take a break from swearing at the cats and type this up.
It was Kitty's idea that Finn and I take a trip across the country for my father's birthday since we wouldn't be traveling for Christmas this year. Like tequila shots, stage diving and Taco Bell, it seemed like a good idea at the time. As the time approached, however, I would have felt more confident taking a handful of peyote buttons and disappearing into the desert for a week.
We almost never got off the ground. The flights on the way out connected through Minneapolis, which was (and is perpetually?) going through a blizzard. After the gate agent made double-extra-sure that I really wanted to check-in knowing that and after a stern warning that I should make sure that I had everything I needed in my carry-on (I didn't), I was let through with a minimal chance of making it. Somehow miraculously, our flight was immediately upgraded from delayed to on-time, almost guaranteeing that I missed it. Definitely guaranteeing that I missed my pre-flight cocktail.
Finn was a dream on both flights out and aside from a brief side-trip to be de-iced in Minneapolis, we made it to NY just fine. As anticipated, the last time I saw Finn until the return trip was on the hand-off to my mother. Actually, that's not entirely true. I'm pretty sure he was at the cocktail party that my parent's threw, but that's only because I'm assuming it was him playing trains with the rest of the grandparents. And I'm also relatively certain that it was Finn's ear that my father was blowing into every time he came around on the merry-go-round at the children's museum... at least I hope it was.
Actually, I did see him for sure when he posed for the picture above. He put his boots on all by himself, then came over to my mother and me, handed us the camera, took a couple of steps back and said "cheese." Methinks we may take too many pictures of our son, if that's the only training he's got. Of course, this is the only quality picture I have for the whole weekend, to Kitty's chagrin, so maybe that's OK.
The rest of the trip was spent perfectly: feeding Finn pizza & graham crackers and handing him the phone every 15 minutes so he could "call Layla" and tell her all about his big adventure, however it only went well because I had the help of my parents. Without Kitty around, I struggle just to remember to feed myself, much less keep Finn alive. But it wasn't until the flight back, that I REALLY missed the Mommy.
I scheduled our return flight to coincide perfectly with a freak hour-long snow storm in Albany, thereby ensuring that we would have no layover to speak of in Detroit and would have to run for our connection. Turns out that Finn + 1.5 hr ride to Albany + 2 hr flight to Detroit + running to gate + 5 hr flight to Seattle - any time to run around in-between = very unhappy Finn. And an unhappy Finn + 2 bags + 1 stroller - any idea of what I'm doing = very frayed Daddy. Finn decided not to sleep the entire second flight, so it was well past his bed time and my personal endurance limit when we finally landed in Seattle and I was once again picked up by my far more proficient teammate.
So on this 7th anniversary of her 29th year on Earth, allow me to wish my beautiful wife the very happiest of birthdays. As a birthday gift, I make this solemn promise: I will never again willingly travel without you!