We knew the day would come eventually-the day when I traveled alone with our children for the first time. We have to head out of our country for a few days every so often and the time was coming to do so. Toffer was going to Thailand for work and my mom was heading over for a visit, so we decided the best option was for all of us to meet where Toffer was working. The hope was that my mom would come here first, then travel with the boys and I to Thailand. In the end the best option was for her to fly directly there and for me to take my first flight alone with the boys. I definitely got the word out to our prayer team that we’d be making this journey.
Toffer had been gone since Monday and our plan was to fly on Friday. Here’s what Thursday looked like:
-Team meeting scheduled where I was supposed to give our director an update on my neglected-with-good-reason-job
-As I was trying to get all the boys out the door for the meeting Samuel accidentally bumped into Benjamin on the stairs and sent him somersaulting down our pebbly, concrete stairs. I caught him after the first somersault and while he was upset he only had a few bumps and bruises.
-Got Benjamin calmed down and everyone in the car and found out that the car battery was dead.
-Our director calls wondering where we are, I fill him in, he says he’ll come over to help with it after the meeting.
-In the mean time I went in our bathroom that was going to be used as the guest bath when my mom came back from Thailand with us and saw that the toilet was leaking. I remembered Toffer had moved a part just a little bit to make it stop and decided to try it myself. The toilet pretty much exploded and the tearful phone call to Toffer in Thailand might have included me saying something like “Get on a plane. Come back right now. We’re packing our bags and going home.” (We would NEVER make the decision to move back to the US so flippantly, but you can probably see why that was my attitude at that point.)
-In the end Toffer helped me get the toilet down to a slow enough leak that it wouldn’t overflow the bathroom while we were gone, our director got the car going, and I got the boys to bed and the last few things packed in time to get a few hours of sleep.
Then Friday came. And, oh, God is so good! I woke up to “Neverending” by David Crowder Band and maybe had a very short little personal dance party at 4 am to wake myself up a. I got ready with plenty of time to get the bags in the car before I woke the boys up. They got up and were ready so quickly that we played Wii for a few minutes while waiting for our director and his wife to arrive. They VERY thoughtfully came over at 5:20 am to drive us in our car to the airport to help get everyone and everything in and settled. We got to the airport without issue.
Checking in was fine and we ate some breakfast. We had the pleasure of actually having someone see us off at the airport (this pretty much never happens). I got up to immigration and the Nepali guy behind me was so pushy that I don’t think the immigration guy cared who I was or when I went in or out he was just glad I wasn’t being ridiculous. I get up to security and someone behind me asks if I need help and it’s a gal I know from church. I talk to her after security and find out she’s on our plane! She helps me get kids and gear to the gate. The gate agents had me collapse the stroller and took it away. We got to board early because they still have families with small children board early in this area of the world. And, here’s where God is totally awesome (as if things weren’t going well enough as it was)-the flight attendants found an empty row of four seats for us to sit in instead of the three we had reserved so Isaac could have his own seat instead of me holding him. I’ll admit-this is when I shed a tear of thanksgiving for God’s goodness. A whole empty row is pretty much unheard of on the flight we were on.
So, we’re on our flight. The boys are doing well. The flight attendants are wonderful and throughout the flight the boys ended up with 2 inflatable airplanes and three cling sticker folders plus a cute bib for Isaac (see picture). Between their fruit plates, stickers, airplanes, and watching our plane on the screens they were fairly happy, content boys the whole time. We even managed a trip to the lavatory without anyone taking out clothing or losing an eye or something.
We get off the plane and head to immigration where they took us out of the regular foreigner line and sent us to a special short line for families and dignitaries and people they like or whatever it’s usually for. We waited for one person and then went through. After that we picked up our bags and super Samuel helped roll one out. Toffer had managed to get into a more secure area and was much closer to the door than we expected when we met him. Hallelujah! We met up with my mom and went on our way.
To top off the already amazing things God had done to make my first trip alone with the boys pretty much as easy and awesome as it could be-Samuel and Benjamin each got a free doughnut at Krispy Kreme pretty much for being cute and interested in the doughnuts being made. Who doesn’t like a free doughnut?
God is good, so, so good. I’m not particularly interested in flying with all our kids by myself on a regular basis while they’re this young, but since I had to do it God at least made it the best trip He possibly could have and for that I am truly, truly grateful.