Flight 2104 Has Been Delayed

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It was time to say goodbye to Michigan. The drive to Metro Airport was smooth. Even during rush hour traffic. Harrison was having mixed emotions about leaving. I wasn’t quite sure how to counsel him because I was having my own difficulty. Syd was prepped with her social story and was ready for her princess carriage. Otherwise known as a wheelchair.

Diana dropped us off. We took a quick selfie and said our goodbyes. Fighting back the tears. I needed to pull it together so we could check our luggage. We made it to the Southwest counter. I made sure to have them bring the wheelchair, get our pre-boarding passes and call for our TSA escort.

The Southwest Agent was nice. My bag was over the weight limit by three pounds. She advised me to pack better next time. I smiled and said thank you and kept it moving. The TSA escort was helpful getting us through a shorter security line. Harrison was flagged. It was a game in his backpack that set off the detectors. Sydney and I watched him as he handled himself with the security agent. I was impressed at his poise and responses. Always respect authority and think about your mamma! He remembered.

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The importance of finding seats next to the outlets for an autism family is crucial.

We had an escort help us to our gate. First, I traumatized Harrison by having him go in the family restroom with us. Next, we bought our snacks and settled in at the gate. We had an hour to wait but as long as we were near the outlets we were fine.

Then the announcer said that our flight was delayed by 20 minutes. The plane was coming from Atlanta. I looked outside and thought. There’s no snow, rain or sleet. Why the delay? I explained to the kids that the plane would be late. I kept telling myself things will be great. We can do this. Jesus take the wheel.

Just when I felt a wave of peace come over me. Lights and sirens starting blaring. One of the airline attendants set off the alarm. I immediately grabbed the noise canceling headphones. We all needed headphones at that point. Sydney was saying “Attack em, attack em”. All I could do was smile.

The sirens finally stopped and I saw the airplane arrive at the gate. I made sure to check for all of our belongings. The airline attendant motioned for us to come to the counter. We waited there until the passengers got off of the plane. When it was time to pre-board we were the first passengers to get on. I felt peaceful and thought we are almost there.

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We made it on the plane and Syd sat in the middle seat. This was different from the last flight. So I wanted to make sure that is where she wanted to sit. As I was settling in no one else had boarded the plane. Then Mean Mary, the flight attendant came and told me to hurry up and sit down.

So….. I turned around to Mean Mary and told her in my quietest teacher voice. Teachers you know the voice we use when we read a read aloud book.  Or the voice we use after giving several reminders to the class.  With a smile on my face.  I reminded her that I was pre- boarding the plane for a reason. It would take a few moments to get settled in. And that I  am traveling with a child with disabilities. She still told me to hurry up.

I had to take a minute and call on Jesus. I was so close to sprinkling holy water on her. Then Brittany showed up. She was a Southwest flight attendant that was a passenger on the flight. She could read my face. She helped Syd and I get settled and checked on Harrison. She gave him a wi-fi coupon to use during the flight. Thank God for Brittany.

The flight was smooth. Mean Mary stayed away from us. The kids did great and I fell asleep. I am proud of myself for flying with the kids by myself. That was a huge victory for us. Going to the baggage claim. Looking for our ride. I had no idea how Syd would react. But we did it.

I’ve learned that sometimes things will go smoothly. There will be bumps in the road. No matter how prepared you are things might not go as planned. Staying calm is key. So is laughing and praying. Copher’s Community made it on our Michigan Adventure. Many people thought I was crazy for wanting to go to Michigan. Many told me that I shouldn’t go. But, I put my big girl panties on and I handled the situation.

My next blog: Sam, I Need An iPad, was more stressful.

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