Day One, Hour One - My Family Travels

A door slams, a light is flicked on, zippers are frantically undone, redone, and undone again. This and a swell of hushed whispers act as my alarm this morning. I lie as still as my body will allow, entangled in the warm familiar mass of blankets for the last time for the next two weeks. I plan to play dead, in the hopes that it will be enough to prevent us from our family vacation to the Midwest.

However, it is not. At 4:15 sharp there is a knock on my door, and before I can utter a word of protest, my mother has invited herself in and screamed to get the heck out of bed.

In desperation, I make a final attempt and pretend as though I do not hear her, yet it is not enough to stop us from being loaded up into our four-door Corolla and on the highway before the sun has risen in our Brooklyn sky.

With impressive speed, my father cuts cars and tests traffic limits to compromise for time lost this morning. Much to my dismay, we sit by the check-in among the other weary families, and I lose interest when my father makes his way to a counter and it becomes clear there is absolutely no way I can forestall this trip.

My interest is soon regained when I hear the ticket agent’s sympathetic words, "I'm so sorry sir, it seems you are at the wrong airport."

Could it be? Did the Heavens hear my prayers this day? I grin, exposing all of my teeth, and all of my satisfaction.

I watch in silent reverie as my mother curses herself for leaving the flight information with my father, and as my father shakes his head in a baffled apology, and my grandmother chases my brother through the maze of passengers who drove to the right airport this morning.

For reasons still unknown to me however, my happiness for the next two weeks is short-lived when I somehow find myself between a tiny plastic window and my five year old brother on a direct flight to Billings, Montana.

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