On Sunday, Addie and I sat and watched various superhero movies trying to pass the time until we had to leave for the airport to pick up Casey and Vivi. They were scheduled to return from their weeklong trip to Utah at 10:30 PM that night.
Addie and I had spent part of the night upstairs passing the time and I had Addie plug my cellphone into its charger. There it sat for the next two hours while Addie and I were downstairs.
Before leaving for Utah, Casey expressed her fear of flying with Vivi. The two of them had been on several previous flights and none of them seemed to go very well. Vivi is a very individually minded little baby and she likes to wander around. Holding her still for more than ten minutes without her going into full on donkey-kick and head-swinging fits is nearly impossible.
The airplane stewardesses and stewards don’t exactly let people, including babies, just wander around a plane aimlessly as Vivi would like. To say that Casey dreads flights with Vivi is an understatement.
Casey’s first flight with Vivi from Utah to Chicago went about as bad as any parent on a plane could imagine. Vivi screamed for almost the entire flight. Vivi doesn’t have little baby screams either. When we know Vivi’s screams are coming, we turn our ears away from her vocal chords and duck for cover in fear that she may pop our ear drums. That may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s not. I’ve never been around another baby who is as loud as Vivi. I’m sure at some point Vivi will end up with a complex because we’re always ducking for cover whenever she gets hurt.
When Casey arrived in Chicago she broke down in tears in the bathroom and did the one thing that she thought could give her a little comfort before taking off on her flight from Chicago to Indianapolis: she called me. The only problem? My cellphone sat upstairs attached to the charger where neither Addie nor I could hear it.
Casey tried calling twice and received no answer. She then texted me twice in hopes that I would respond, but nothing. Her father and stepmother then each took a turn trying to get a hold of me before Casey had to take off on her next flight, but they had as much success as Casey.
Several minutes later, I went upstairs to get my cellphone so that Addie and I could start making our way to the airport.
I noticed that I had missed a slew of calls and a couple text messages, and I started to wonder if something bad had happened. I read the text messages and realized what was happening. Casey was having an emotional breakdown in an airport bathroom because of her fear of flying with Vivi.
It was already too late for me to call Casey. She was in the air somewhere between Chicago and Indianapolis.
I felt a pang of sorrow because I wasn’t there to help calm Casey before her next flight. The next feeling I had, however, has brought me quite a bit of guilt over the last two days. I felt relief that I had missed the calls. After all, what could I really have done to help?
It is moments like this that cause me fear that I may slip back into being the husband I was before my marriage nearly ended. The only comfort I have is that the feeling of relief was quickly replaced with a hefty dose of guilt.
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