“Mommy, we just had our own Home Alone!” my 10 year old daughter exclaimed after we finally boarded the Airbus A380 after sprinting through the airport and barely making it on the plane! Everyone around us laughed at her declaration as I mentally made sure we didn’t leave a kid behind!
This was it! This was our first time flying internationally with kids! (4 kids ranging from age 3 to 12). Our day had started off very smoothly with everyone super excited. We were flying out of a smaller airport in our hometown in Indiana with what we knew would be a somewhat quick layover in Atlanta. But Josh and I have done quite a bit of traveling, so we weren’t too worried.
Then came the dreaded apology announcement from the captain … blah, blah, something something, whatever reason … one hour delay. So we sit on this plane on the ground watching the minutes pass by knowing we’re not going to make our connection, which is our flight to Paris. In fact, Josh finds out that we have already been rebooked for another flight much later that night. Ugh. We had our plans all ready for a good half day in Paris, but now we wouldn’t be able to do anything but go to sleep once we got there.
I’m trying to come to terms with what the situation is and to just be positive about it, but Josh is determined that we can still make our connection, and of course, he has a plan. The plan: I was to take our 3 year old, run to the gate, and convince them to hold it while he and the 3 older kids grabbed our plane-side checked bags (we only carry on – no checked bags, but our small short flight from home required plane-side checking).
Our sweet boy ran his little legs the whole way through the world’s busiest airport, and we made it at the very minute the gate was supposed to close! I immediately start pleading our case that it is the first time flying internationally with kids, and explaining that the rest of my family is running right behind me. I was unfortunately speaking to a lady who was either having a very bad day or who had no heart because her response to me was, “That makes no difference,” as she proceeded to tell another lady to shut the gate. How do you say no to this sweet face, red- cheeked from running, with his little Paw Patrol backpack and Co-Pilot t-shirt??
I go from sweetly pleading to getting a little frustrated and shall I say … firm … to get this gate to stay open. A second time this lady tells her co-worker to shut the gate, but thankfully that lady has a heart and realizes that two minutes isn’t the end of the world. As I continue to try to convince them to wait for my family, the first (cold-hearted) lady tells me to sit down. I ignore her and try to look down the hall for Josh and the kids.
She tells me a second time to have a seat, and I see her nod toward a security officer. (Quick back story here … my dad’s side of the family is known for being a bit stubborn. We have what is known in our family as “the chin.” When someone has reached their limit, the chin sticks out, and you KNOW they are NOT going to budge!) Well “the chin” came out, and I turn around and yell “I’m Not Gonna!” (What can I say, when I’m mad, my southern accent comes out too!)
Sure enough at that moment, Josh and the kids come running around the corner! I jump and scream, “Yes!” Cold-hearted lady tried one last, “They have too many carry-ons,” which we didn’t. Thankfully kind-hearted lady ignored that, got our passes scanned, and we were in! Our own Home Alone moment on our first experience flying internationally with kids … a crazy way to start off a trip, but kind of a fun memory and story … now that it is over!