We are going back to Chicago this weekend. First flight out on Saturday, first flight back on Monday morning. Easy breezy. Each side of the family gets 24 hours and then we are back to Maryland.
The trips are stressful. They take planning and scheduling and diplomacy to a degree where we are usually tired before we even step foot into the airport. As much as Matt and I love our families, trips back are just one more reminder that Chicago isn’t home anymore and that we are 600 miles away from the comforts of our infrastructure.
I may get caught up in the details of the trip, but Gracie, her focus and excitement is on something else completely.
Despite her proclivity towards jewels, Gracie is developing some tomboy-ish tendencies too.
The dump truck and fire engine is a thing of wonder. Yes, the two have little in common, but still, every dump truck gets a squeal of delight despite the smells oozing from it; and she seems to think every fire truck was created just for her enjoyment and is mourned with tears and exclamations of 'MY FIRE TRUCK!' when they hurry past.
Even better than these two though? Ho-panes and Hot-cop-ers.
(That would read airplanes and helicopters to those who are not 100% versed in Gracie speak.)
We live close enough to BWI Airport that planes are a regular occurrence. Early mornings, with the mass take-offs are particularly delightful to Gracie. I grew up a mild distance from Midway Airport, so the noise of low flying jets rarely attracts my attention. Gracie on the other hand, must spend a good portion of her day with her ho-pane radar up.
And this 48 hour trip to see family, sure she runs through the list of who she will see during those two days:
Mama, where Unkey Jer at? He’s at work. In Chicago.
Mama, we see Unkey Jer when we take ho-pane to Cago? Yes, love, we will see him.
Mama, where Grandpa at? He’s watching TV. In Chicago.
Mama, we see Grandpa when we take ho-pane to Cago? Yes, love, we will see him.
Mama, where PaPa at? He’s at his cabin in Wisconsin.
Mama, we see PaPa when we take ho-pane to Cago? Yes, love, we will see him.
Mama, where Michael at? (The 19 yr old neighbor boy) He’s making sandwiches. (He works at a Panera)
Mama, we no see Michael when we take ho-pane to Cago. Yes, love, Michael has to stay here and make more sandwiches.
So just like her parents, Gracie’s true thrill will come with the end caps of this trip and her real life encounter with her very own ho-pane.
And you can bet that I won’t be discouraging her from laying claim to the aircraft if that is what gets us through 2.5 hours in each direction without tears or temper-tantrums. She will be fine, me on the other hand, I cannot guarantee there will be no tears of exhaustion on my part.