Well, folks, this is it. Another year in the books. In a few short days, we will turn on the dehumidifiers, lock up our apartment, and head off to the airport to cross the Pacific back to the homeland. They tell me that there are just as many days in the year now as when I was a kid, but it is pretty hard to believe as this time of year always seems to catch me off guard. Nevertheless, here we are as I try to tie up loose ends and prepare for the long trek back to the States.
I would like to start off by stating that I am looking forward to seeing the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave once again. Dreams of pancakes, Chik-Fil-A, and reasonably priced watermelon have been dancing in my head for some time now. We can’t wait to introduce the BOGO’s to their adoring fans back in the US. Don’t worry, Chris and I have fully come to terms with the fact that the two of us have been unequivocally replaced on everyone’s “must see” lists by these two bundles of joy.
This being said, I have to express some concerns about the actual process of realizing my dreams of Chik-Fil-A and BOGO introductions. You see, in order to get us from point A in Seoul to point B in America, there is this pesky little thing called a trans-Pacific flight. For those of you who do much traveling, you know that flying isn’t a whole lot of fun. Crossing oceans is less fun. Crossing an ocean and then crossing the Continental United States is even less fun. Chris and I know this because we have done it several times now. But, we don’t need to be reminded that this year is going to be different. Why? Oh yes, those little bundles of joy are coming with us this time. In order to get myself in gear for this adventure, I thought I would put a few of my apprehensions in words and help myself process them.
Apprehension number one: Packing. For anyone who knows me or any of the other Loomis’, you know that our worth as a human being is negatively correlated with the size of our suitcases. When we pack, every corner is cut and we actually feel like failures if we don’t wear everything from our suitcase at least twice. (You should see the tiny backpack that my sister packed to come to Seoul for two weeks, and she fit in gifts for us and the babies.) Anyone who checks a bag on the airplane is deemed unfit for interaction with the Loomis family. Sadly, I have to put this training aside as I prepare to essentially move our entire nursery across the Pacific with us. Toys, diapers, wipes, bottles, clothes to grow out of and in to, burp cloths, car seats; and the list goes on. Note to those picking us up at the airport: I hope you have a lot of trunk space.
Apprehension number two: Claustrophobia. No, I haven’t suddenly become afraid of tightly enclosed places. I have a very deep fear of being in an enclosed place where people are trying to sleep and I have a screaming baby… or two. We are going to be those people at the gate at whom businessmen scowl, flight attendants cringe, and bring the rest of the passengers to their knees praying that they don’t get seated next to us. We are the lepers of the flying world. If there ever was a mother who wished that they made baby Ambien, it would be me. Did I mention Lucy might be teething? Note to people picking us up at the airport: bring earplugs. You’ll probably want them.
Apprehension number three: Jet lag. Now, I am not talking about a two or three hour “I just got in from California” kind of jet lag. I am talking about completely switching AM and PM and then some. With four month old babies. I don’t know how we got so incredibly lucky to have babies who sleep so well at nighttime and I don’t take it for granted. However, I have no idea how they will react when I try to convince them that the sleep schedule we have worked so hard to set in stone has to be modified once we hit the tarmac… and then switch back again in six weeks. Note to those hosting us: invest in some sleeping pills of your own… or invent baby Ambien.
Ready or not, here we come. Game faces, everyone, it is go time. That Chik-Fil-A better be good.