Move You to Tears!
By: Donna Haug
March 18, 2004
“Say ‘Good-bye’ to Daddy and Uncle Paul, kids!”
I took a deep breath as I hugged my husband and brother, looking for reassurance in their eyes.
The last while had been so hectic. This business of moving across the country in preparation for moving halfway around the world was just slightly overwhelming! With our first term as missionaries to Brazil looming like a mountain range in the distance, I first had to face this Bog of Despair called “moving”! Packing, garage sales, cleaning and more packing made our last month in Victoria, B.C. to pass in a blur.
That door had now finally closed as we rushed out the parsonage door, said a few hurried good-byes, packed ourselves into our car with boxes and bags piled on our laps and a trailer tagged along behind looking like it had been borrowed from the Hillbillies. We had rushed to catch the ferry to Vancouver. Mark and Paul had decided to face the 3-day (and night) drive from Victoria to Montreal straight through. Three year old Esther and 1 ˝ year old Jonathan would take the 11 p.m. flight with me from Vancouver to Montreal.
At 9 p.m. we waved good-bye to the guys who left to face a grueling drive and I turned towards my toddlers feeling the exhaustion sweep over me already. Only three hours to occupy these tired little ones before the plane leaves!
“No, Esther! You can’t wander off, honey. You have to stay here by Mommy!”
I strapped Jonnie into his stroller, piled the overnight bags on the handles and tried to steer with one hand while hanging on to my little ball of energy with the other. She wasn’t nicknamed “the Estherizer” for nothing! She keeps going and going and going …
“Oh, look guys! See the airplanes landing? Oooo!”
“It’s OK, Jonnie. Don’t cry. Here’s your ‘baba’!”
“Look! That one’s going to take off!”
“Estie, don’t step on the man’s toes, lovey. Come here.”
Eventually I heard the pre-boarding announcement, “All passengers with small children or requiring assistance now boarding at Gate D.” Hmmm! Something tells me she is talking about me! Upon reaching the door of the airplane the flight attendant says, “I’m going to have to take your stroller because there’s no where to store it on the plane.”
“I’ll need it for getting off the plane in Montreal. Will they bring it to me?” I asked with a worried look on my face.
“Oh yes! You’ll be able to pick it up when you get there.”
We got our luggage stored away, settled into our seats. Somehow we made it through the light meal they insisted on serving even through it was nearly midnight. After a few tired tears, Jonnie fell asleep and I got him tucked in as cozily as I could.
Esther, on the other hand, was nowhere near ready to settle down. I lost track of time as she climbed all over the seats and squirmed and complained as she tried to get comfortable. It was with intense relief that I finally saw her doze off. “Whew! Now maybe I can rest a minute!”
It must have been prophecy because, due to the magic of changing time zones, suddenly they were bringing breakfast around! Ugh! This was followed shortly by a stopover in Toronto. Thankfully Esther slept through this “minor” interruption, but Jonnie was now wide awake and ready to check out his surroundings!
A couple of hours later we finally landed at the Montreal airport. “Esther! Honey! It’s time to wake up! We’re here!”
“Nooooo!” comes a mumble and a whine from under the blanket. “I’m still tired!”
“We’ve got to go now love. Come on!”
I lugged all the bags over my shoulders, sat a squirmy Jonnie on my hip, took the hand of my sleepy munchkin and worked my way off the airplane.
“Excuse me? Where do I get my stroller?”
“Just follow the other passengers and it will be waiting for you with your luggage,” was the reply.
I struggled along after the crowd until we were faced with a steep, wide staircase at which point Esther sat down with tears running down her face and refused to budge.
“I’m tired, Mommy! I don’t want to walk!”
No amount of persuasion would change her mind. Summoning all my “Super Mom” strength, I loaded up the bags one more time, swung a kid onto each hip and slowly made my way down the stairs. Having conquered Mount Stairway, I now faced the longest hallway I had ever seen! It was the tunnel connecting two terminals! Great!
“Oh! Here we go guys! A moving sidewalk! Isn’t this fun?” I gratefully set everyone down and worked my arms back and forth allowing the circulation to flow again and letting the moving sidewalk carry us along. Other passengers squeezed by us in their hurry.
“Sorry. Excuse me. Watch your fingers Esther!”
Eventually reaching the end of the hallway, I could see the luggage claim area far ahead. Loaded again like the little old woman who lived in a shoe, I worked my way to the luggage carousel where I hoped my father-in-law would be waiting.
There was no one in sight that I recognized!
Jesse was squirming and starting to fuss. Esther cried and wanted to curl up somewhere and sleep and poor “Super Mom” had come face to face with a Kryptonite Wall. I sat down on a bench surrounded by my hand luggage, watching my suitcase play ‘ring around the rosy’, a child on each knee crying and the tears began to run down my face!
“Oh Lord! Please help me!”
Suddenly I saw the most welcome face I’d seen in a long time! The children ran to their Grandpa with angelic smiles on their faces. “Opa! Opa!”
An hour later two grandparents were in their glory with children running excitedly around the house. “Super Mom” found a nice quiet room, shut the door, climbed into the most comfortable bed known to woman, and fell into a deep, peaceful sleep. As I drifted off I whispered, “Thank you, Lord!”