Where the hampster wheel always turns

About Me

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Middle aged underweight high school graduate
"It is not advisable James to venture unsolicited opinions. You should spare yourself the embarrassing discovery of their exact value to your listener." - Francisco d'Anconia, Atlas Shrugged
"The soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut taxes now." - John F. Kennedy

As our little family travelled home after our Christmas celebration I was marveling at how far we had come. I watched harried, stressed parents lug strollers, car seats, diaper bags, and a herd of infants and small children through the airport I was so grateful we had passed that stage. Each of our three children had packed and were pulling their OWN suitcase through the airport. It was an amazing feat, especially for the type of "vacation" we celebrated.

Because I was not in charge of picking, we travelled to glorious Yellowstone National Park, which was a not-so-glorious 12 degrees.

Unlike other vacations, because our children have grown into relatively independent people who manage their own poop, change their own clothes and occasionally brush their own teeth we transitioned from me managing five people, to me counseling five people and then letting them suffer the consequences of their inattention to that counsel. We did have a few exchanges that made me want to whap certain of them on the back of the head such as: "I didn't pack the thermal underwear you set out for me because I didn't think I needed it." and I don't want to wear that parka, it's not "cute."

Fortunately, 12 degrees had a way of getting my point across better than I did.

We survived the whole ordeal, I mean vacation, with all our limbs intact and no one suffering hypothermia - most importantly me.

And now, we were on our way back to sunny, warmer Arizona. As we readied for our flight I counseled the kids on how and what to pack and where to pack it. I admit, the whole travel "security" thing is absolutely ridiculous. Confiscating hair gel and tweezers, removing our shoes, patting down grandma... I have never felt so safe.

The kids has purchased some souvenirs of the trip: keychains, magnets, and a laser-engraved pocket knife with their name spelled correctly. In our family it's a rarity to find any pre-made item with our names on it. Despite the impossibility of Disneyland having a magnetic license plate with Aselin on it, I still spent my childhood searching every kiosk I passed. I had to settle for a vandalized Vaseline container with the V and the E colored in blue. Lest you slip into a state of unseemly jealousy because your only personalized childhood collectable did not contain an ancient, well-used container of V - aselin - E, I did also have a book my grandparents ordered with a giraffe named Nilesa (hold it up to a mirror) who got into mildly entertaining antics. Now I know you want to be me.

You can't.

Sad for you.

So back to the airport. I was watching these families try and navigate the very poorly designed security checkpoint laden like pediatric pack mules and I empathized as well as swelled with pride that we were passed that stage in life and my kids were all self sufficient and packed their own stuff. Unnamed child #2 was particularly conscientious and asked if they had to remove their ipod, camera and rechargers for them to inspect. Being the expert I am, I assured them those items could remain in their Buzz Lightyear carry-on backpack.

Going through the security station all five of us took off our jackets, de-shoed, removed computers, and somehow made it through the naked scanner (A side note, I don't believe a single thing they tell you about the naked scanner. The amount of radiation you're exposed to, the "fact" that they can't see who you are, store or send the images - dealing with the caliber of TSA worker I do believe they can't figure out how to do those things but I do not believe the capability does not exist) and were coming out the other side when the conveyor belt stopped. Uh oh.

A rather androgynous person's presence was requested by the scanner manner, and they poured over the screen pointing rather animatedly. With a unanimous nod, the conveyor was restarted and the "person" reached in and grabbed the Buzz Lightyear carry-on backpack asking aloud, "Whose is this?"

Poor Unnamed child #2 raises their hand and follows the "person" over to a searching station. I feel a little bad since maybe I'm not the expert I thought I was and they should have removed their ipod...oh who am I kidding. I didn't think that. I thought - this will be a good experience for them and I hope their grandparent's visit Salt Lake City federal prisons since it's a little out of my way.

The Buzz Lightyear carry-on backpack has the capacity of an average cantaloupe. It's a small bag, yet the search goes on, and on, and on. That kid had the thing PACKED. There was all kinds of gum, granola bars, trash, Yellowstone maps, Rubik's cubes

They stood there with the security guard saving all of us from terrorist Buzz Lightyear lovers. Finally, after all of us had completely re-robed, the violating item was discovered. A KNIFE!!!

I looked at the kid with the mother stinky eye and said, "WHAT??? We talked about packing knives through security - and really? A KNIFE???"

Unnamed Child #2 looked completely perplexed and embarrassed at the same time. They assured me they had completely forgotten about the knife their cousin had given them. In Unnamed Child #2's defense, the knife was smaller than my thumb and would have had trouble opening an envelope let alone taking over an airplane - but never fear, the friendly skies were safer that day as another kindle-reading absentminded teenager was prevented from traveling with a knife they didn't remember they had. Whew.

Don't tell anyone, but I did NOT turn off my cell phone for departure so I was ready to dial 911 in case any other hazardous dangers made it through the checkpoint.

1 response to "Growing Up"

  1. I just can't believe that your husband didn't pack his parka 'cause it wasn't "cute". :)


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