So, last week, I did something really dumb. So stupid it left me stranded at Heathrow Airport, in the middle of the Olympics with two children under-4 screaming for food.
There is no pacifier in the world big enough to stop up that situation.
I had just laid the disabled daughter card on the desk of the ticket agent for Delta. The ticket agent didn’t look moved. Not by that, or the tears I struggled to hold back. I knew what missing that flight meant. It meant I wasn’t going home to see my family. My family who I hadn’t seen in seven months.
Turns out there are worse things than traveling on a long-haul flight with a disabled toddler and a one-year old. There is not traveling at all.
The ticket agent excused himself to speak with his supervisor. He left me for almost a half-hour. When he returned, I was convinced I wasn’t getting on any plane, ever. But, instead he said, “My supervisor has prioritized you.”
I gasped. “What does that mean?”
“That means you will be traveling on next flight.”
It meant more than that. Originally, Delta had put us in their bulkhead row at no extra cost. We shouldn’t have to pay, but airlines usually argue with me about it because people pay good money for those seats. Delta put us on the flight and gave us their Extra Comfort seats. Not bulkhead, but still more room and bigger seats.
I broke down in tears.
May also broke down in tears. She screamed non-stop (no exaggeration) for the next two hours. It was unbearable and made all the worse by Heathrow security who insisted I eat from four baby food pouches and even May’s medically prescribed formula. This has never happened before.
“It’s prescribed from a doctor,” I told her, while I held a hysterical May. “I can’t open it because I can’t risk it spoiling. I need every bottle of it to last.”
“You drink it, or it stays here,” she said, sharply.
I stood in front of her, with an airport disabled escort for May next to me and the prescription from my doctor in my hand. I drank the milk and I ate the baby food and I told her how idiotic it was. She took her break immediately following meeting me.
The flight was the worst I’ve had yet. Two children under-4, one disabled and one who wants to crawl, does not make for an easy flight. But, I didn’t care.
Perspective. That’s what my stupid mistake brought me.
Didn’t read Part One? Click here: Of all the stupid things I’ve done, this is the dumbest.