The lady on the bus said it best.
We had landed at LAX airport last Thursday on our way home from China, and we had exactly two hours and 20 minutes to process through customs, clear immigration, proclaim our newest superhero a U.S. citizen and recheck the five suitcases our three walking children grabbed while we transported six carry-on bags and a 3-year-old in an Ergo back through security, all before our next flight boarded.
Only the first airport employee directed us to Terminal 6, which we forced our children, one with broken sandals, another with blistered feet, to sprint toward on two to six hours of sleep carrying book bags nearly half their size, only to discover upon arrival at Terminal 6 that our connecting flight was actually now leaving out of Terminal 3.
In 20 minutes.
An entire bus ride and a whole new security line away.
As we squeezed all our belongings and panting, panicked children onto the airport shuttle that we prayed would somehow get us to our gate on time (by a miracle of God, it did), the lady sitting across from us looked us up and down and took in the hot mess that was our traveling team.
Super-Spouse's back side was drenched from sprinting from terminal to terminal with three overloaded book bags and half a child. Superhero 4 was wiggling and struggling from his place in the Ergo and, because we didn’t have time to stop and change a diaper, had just peed through his diaper onto his pants. And onto me. Superhero 2’s feet were bleeding from the sandals that had given him blisters, and Superhero 1, the Type A time-keeping Nazi who frets if he’s not in the school pick-up line at least 10 minutes before it actually begins, was tearing up as he kept repeating over and over, “We’re never going to make it. We’re never going to make it.” All while Superman kept trying to fall asleep on his book bag.
Trying to momentarily de-stress, I sat down for two seconds with our superhero strapped to my chest and took a whiff of myself, hoping the new scent of perspiration would somehow cover the odor of the entire cup of coffee Superhero 4 had spilled on me during his two hours of thrashing-about sleep on our 13-hour flight from Guangzhou to L.A. But alas, I now just smelled like one of those gyms that keeps Keurigs in the back and thinks it’s a cool kid coffee bar.
With a side shot of urine.
That’s when the woman across from us counted our matching black t-shirts and saw that all six of these pitifully put together people probably belonged together.
“You’ve sure got your hands full,” she said, smiling that "thank God it’s not me” smile I know so well from my days of toddler temper tantrums in the commissary check-out line.
And that, my friend, I do. Read More