With two weeks of “vacation” (here quoted due to my energizer princesses that seem to demand attention even when we’re supposed to be sunning and resting) under my belt (read leggings/rompers), I have lots to write about. Our Disney World extravaganza, our golf cart journeys and alligator sightings, our near-blissful playtime in the sand and surf of the mighty and warm Atlantic. I had foolishly assumed that I’d have lots of time for blogging during our annual Florida trip. And while it’s true that R was usually occupied with something or someone other than me, I still had a baby strapped to me par-usual, and lots of chattering to do with family. So, even though an abundance of empty time didn’t present itself, the humid hours were mostly filled with fun (and giraffes and water and roller coasters and FOOD). I’ll get to all of our Floridian exploits in a near-future blogging session, but what’s prompting me to sit down and write now — as R takes another golf cart ride to the playground with her Mimi and K dozes in the Ergo — is the reason why we’re still here, cozy as ever, instead of en route back home.
We almost flew out of FLL yesterday when the “Violent Incident in Fort Lauderdale, Florida” (as Facebook is calling it) occurred. In fact, we went back and forth about booking that ticket many times — in order to leave the same day as the rest of our family and to get home a bit earlier and recoup for the ensuing work week. But those tickets were slightly more expensive, so we pushed it one day. If we had been on yesterday’s flight, we would have returned our rental car, walked past baggage claim (as the airport layout demands) and gone through security. Without any hold-ups, we’d have been sitting on our plane when the shooting began. But one unexpected plane delay, diaper explosion, tantrum or really long post-holiday kiosk line could have meant our precious family being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And that’s just too hard to swallow. Even if we were physically safe, but part of an airport lockdown and evacuation, we would have needed to put on our parenting pants and keep our kids calm and confident, explaining to our inquisitive and hyper-observant R why the airport had suddenly become a space filled with palpable terror.
The reality is that we are blessed. We are fortunate in so many ways, every single day, and times like this make that truth crystal clear. We weren’t there. Our actual flight was cancelled. We’re stuck on the sunny side for a couple more days, relatively happy to be paying a little bit more money in rebooking fees to fly out of another airport (since FLL remains closed at present). We released the logistical annoyances fairly quickly because, well, we’re together, safe and sound. Because as I type I can feel K breathing against my stomach and hear her snoring contentedly. Because I’m staring out at the lush foliage blowing in the wind alongside a welcoming heated pool. Because in a couple minutes I’ll hear R’s feet padding on the linoleum floor as she barrels to her next activity.