Hello friends! This “Wink” occurred to me a few weeks ago and although the story casts me in a pretty ridiculous, ok let’s call it, humorous, light, it is just too good not to share it with you here…. (See how much I love you?)
This year my oldest son, 10 years old, went to sleep away camp in Detroit, Michigan. Last year, he went to the same camp, for 4 weeks. This year we sent him for 7 weeks. (You can read a piece I wrote about last year’s experience here.) I was pleased with that decision because I know how wonderful this camp was for my son and how much he looked forward to going again.
My husband took care of the ticket and I prepared everything else for my son’s trip. There were all sorts of details about getting my son and his friend to Detroit that were complicated to work out. In the end, we decided to send my son on a flight with a friend and the boy’s father – a close and trusted friend himself. Let’s call him “the chaperone.” He would take them to Detroit the night before. The next morning he would take them to pray in shul, then for pizza, and then put them in the camp bus that was taking all the Detroit area boys up to go up to camp. Sounded like a good plan. My husband made a plane ticket for our son, linked to the chaperone’s ticket, so they could travel together.
The day to send him off to Detroit arrived. My husband was on a business trip in China. I arranged to drop off my son at our friend’s house (“the chaperone”) and the three of them would go together to the airport from there. This would save me the shlep of going to the airport and back with my other three kids in the afternoon traffic.
Around noon that day, the “chaperone” reminded me to pre-check my son. Grateful for the reminder, I went online to pre-check him. But, instead of a boarding pass to print, I got a message saying, “This is not a boarding pass. We see you’re an unaccompanied minor. Please check in at the Spirit counter.” “No boarding pass! Oh oh. I don’t like this,” I thought. (Chaperone and his son had boarding passes.) “Why does it say he’s an unaccompanied minor? He’s not.” I was confused.
I didn’t want to inconvenience the friend/chaperone, who was doing us a favor, but it seemed like my son would have to get to the airport much earlier than they had anticipated. It wasn’t clear to me if perhaps I could help by taking him earlier to the airport and checking him in (less than ideal, but if needed to, I would do it). I needed to talk to someone at the airline…
Confusion quickly turned to worry. I called the airline and in an endless loop of pressing here and there I still couldn’t get through to an agent to help me. Soon enough, worry, became nervousness. It seems silly, but let me tell you the back story to my emotional state. Doesn’t make it less silly; it just puts it in context…
…Last year, the first time I sent my son to overnight camp, I had a similar incident. My husband was also in China. Between the emotions and exhaustion, I totally forgot to pre-check my son for his flight. We got to the airport with what I thought was plenty of time at around 5 am (but I hadn’t pre-checked!). (My dear mother in law baby-sat the other kids.) The check in line was endless. Long story, short… My son almost missed his flight. In fact, he didn’t even fly with his suitcase. It got sent on another flight and he received it in camp the next day. I couldn’t even say good bye to him properly. It was all pretty crazy. All was fine, but at the time I felt like #momfail.
Now, my son, had gently reminded me that this year I should try to remember all the details, so that things could go a bit smoother than the previous year. (Yikes! Now you start understanding?…)
“Smoother, than last year, Yael… that’s what you needed to do. Did you have to mess this up again!?” ENTER, TOTALLY UNPRODUCTIVE CHAIN OF THOUGHTS INTO THE PICTURE (Oh those inner voices. They are soooo pesty!) I’m trying to keep a composed face while trying to reach a human being at this airline – son next to me, wondering what’s happening? He asks, “What’s with the boarding pass?” Of course, I’m thinking that what my son is really thinking is, “Is my mom going to mess this up, again!?”
Add to that, the following thoughts: “What if there are problems when he arrives at the airport? What if his ticket is not linked to the chaperone’s? What if now I have to pay an unaccompanied minor fee even though he’s not really unaccompanied? What if they don’t get there with enough time to deal with my son’s lack of boarding pass, and they all loose the flight because of my son?” Sprinkle that with some good old female hyperbole, “Why can’t the Trusch’s E-V-E-R get plane tickets right!?” Oh and let’s top it off with the pathetic/victim wife self-talk: “Why does my husband always have to be in China, when these things come up!?” Starting to get pretty irrational, right? #embarrasing
It shouldn’t surprise you that my mind was blocked to the point that I couldn’t remember that my son’s ticket was actually linked to his chaperone’s and therefore, there should be no problem (other than, yes they probably had to arrive earlier than anticipated to the airport). Still trying to get in touch with the airline, my son and I went to grab a box of sushi for him to take on the plane. (Hey, I was trying to keep things “normal” for him. Give me some credit here!)
#embarrasing #PoorHusband #ImLaughingNow #NotFunnyThen
I do not recommend you text or speak to your husbands like this!!!
It was three in the morning in China, so really there was nothing my sleeping husband could do to help. Nevertheless, irrational wife managed to send texts like the one above, while on the phone with airline and on the way to the sushi place. Oy!!!
As we got to the sushi shop, I saw an old friend of ours sitting there. After saying our hellos, I asked about his family. He told me that in a few hours he was headed on a flight to visit them in New York. “Oh, my son is also flying out in a few ours – to Detroit.” He says to us, “Going on Spirit, right?” I said, “Yes. How do you know?” He answers, “It’s the only airline that flies direct Houston – Detroit in the afternoon, plus I work for Spirit, remember?”
My eyes open wide, “Remember!?” If I’d ever heard, I surely had not remembered now! Suddenly, I started seeing the Hashgacha Pratit unfolding in front of me…
Our friend helped me get through to the airline and advised me to check that everything was in order with the reservation. He said that most likely my son would have to go earlier and that I should not waste my time taking him, as he would have to show up with the adult who is traveling with the child. Meanwhile, my son started eating out of his sushi box (good way to keep busy). I finally got an agent through and she asked me for my confirmation number.
Happy to give it to a human being, while glancing at my son’s sushi box, I responded: “G as in Ginger, B as in Boy, 5, 6, 1.” And here’s where the story gets interesting…
The airline agent replied “G as in G-d, B as,” I immediately cut her off! In fact, I don’t remember even hearing her, I remember just cutting her off. Almost like I heard and deleted what she said immediately and reacted, “No! G as in Ginger,” I said again with an annoyed tone.
She replied, “That’s what I said, G as in G-d.” Ladies, I was stunned! Literally, speechless. My son must have noticed because he said, “Ma, what’s wrong?” I smiled, and motioned that it was nothing. In a much softer tone of voice I said, “Yes, G as in G-d. B as in Boy, 5, 6, 1.”
The agent found the reservation and confirmed everything our friend had said. I explained the situation to the chaperone and apologized for the inconvenience of having to leave earlier to the airport. All the while I was thinking, “This must be the times of Mashiach, in which the whole world will see G-d’s glory. I mean, who says that!? G as in G-d!? That is pretty cool!”
We all thought it was pretty awesome and now it was time to go. Our friend who works for the airline, gave my son a dollar for shliach mitzvah (for my son to give tzedakah upon his arrival in Detroit) and we all left.
To me this was all a “Wink” no doubt. I understood that G-d had been trying to talk to me during this whole episode. First, we “bumped” into our friend who works for the airline. Then, the agent tells me “G as in G-d.” I recognized that there was no reason to be nervous. My son was going to be fine. The ticket, the flight, the camp, everything was going to be fine, because everything was exactly the way it had to be – just like G-d wanted. There was nothing to worry about because G-d is running the show (and worrying does not ever help anyway.)
Now, I wish I could tell you, I was on this frame of mind for long. Sadly, I wasn’t. When I arrived to drop off my son at the chaperone’s, they were quite chilled. I wouldn’t call it running late, but not exactly ready to go. “Mhhh, OK,” I thought to myself. Then, the other boy’s mother said, “Oh boys, let me feed you some chicken.” I thought, “Chicken!? Lady, my son has to get to the airport, otherwise the three of them will miss their flight!” But, I controlled myself. I hugged my son and wished him an amazing summer. As I walked back to my car, I reminded myself, yet again, that G-d was in charge.
A few hours later, at home wondering what happened at the airport, my husband now awake in China, I communicated again with him. Apparently, I still needed another reminder…
And that’s the lesson my friends… “H” is with us, even in the confirmation number. What’s to worry?” A lesson that I work on applying in my life E V E R Y single day. Sometimes I’m more successful than others, but I try nonetheless…
Next day’s text…
Need I say more…?
Have a beautiful rest of your week!
Have you ever felt a Wink from Above? We all gain strength and inspiration from each other’s stories. Please send me an email and tell me your Wednesday Wink.