Thursday at 5:30 AM things got started. We hustled the kids through an abbreviated morning routine and headed to the airport. I saw a surprisingly long line at the ticket counter, so I decided to not check my bag and head straight for the security line which was thankfully short. After grabbing some breakfast, filling water bottles, and having my daughter unsuccessfully try the bathroom, we rushed to the check-in counter and got the stroller tagged through to Milwaukee where we would change planes. The flight was bumpy but fairly uneventful. I did change my son, but there was really no need. In Milwaukee, we deplaned and our next plane was leaving from a gate only a few steps away. After a time zone heart palpitation, I realized we had an hour, so we walked around and had a snack. I gate checked the stroller through to St. Louis, boarded the plane, and kept the increasingly frustrated son occupied for the hour flight. The seatbelt sign was on the entire way due to weather that had already shut down Kansas City airport. I could see the bank of storm clouds rising above the fairly thick cloud deck and prayed we would make St. Louis in time. I also prayed that my daughter, who had not yet had a productive toilet experience, would not suddenly need to go in this bouncing ball of an airplane. Luckily she didn’t, and we landed amidst gusts and sleet in St. Louis. There was no stroller waiting for us, and it was not to appear. The baggage service person guessed that it hadn’t been loaded in Milwaukee.
As soon as we made it out of the secure gate area, my daughter rushed to my mom screaming, “Grandma, Grandma, Grandma.” The whole waiting area smiled, and my kids started their time with grandparent. For all the challenge of getting them to St. Louis, the transformation in my kids while they are here is magical. They truly take flight when we land.