Monday, March 1, 2010

Careful What You Wish For

I'm sorry Claire, but my favorite blog of all times is the one you posted on February 3 last year. The one where you rose to the "challenge of changing your life" and knew that "having children means relinquishing control and accepting that you're not the only force directing your life." Beautifully said.

Ain't it a kick in the pants that you got pregnant with twins?!

Okay, you may not be laughing yet but I got another one. My blog on February 11 of this year, the one where I mention a little bit of snow in Germany and the USA and laughingly tell them to "Go ahead, pile on the delays. Make me take off my shoes. Do a strip search."

I wasn't strip searched.

But I barely made it out of Stuttgart, had to overnight in a snowstorm in Atlanta and spent 8 hours the next day standing in line at the Atlanta airport.

I believe I got the last seat out of Stuttgart when I started shaking so hard that I had to grip onto the counter. (They had told me the next flight out was in five days.) I went boldly where I never had any intention of going again - through Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris - and arrived in the middle of a snowstorm blanketing the entire USA, every state except for Hawaii.

Claire - listen to me now - NEVER EVER EVER EVER go through Charles De Gaulle with those kids alone. NEVER EVER EVER. Unless you can figure out a way to carry that double stroller up the steps alone. Or all three kids, since sometimes they take away the stroller too. I think it's a little game the French like to play with us. Although I still love the language, the culture and the smiles - Charles De Gaulle has got to go! (Really Claire, ask Gaeton for me, WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?!)

I raced through a tight connection at CDG (Go figure, the flight was a l'heure.) and made it only due to those fantastic new security procedures they put everybody through at the gate. No strip search, but a nice pat down for EVERYONE. Got held up as they were double-checking the credentials on the elderly lady in the wheelchair from Morocco. "Oh good" said the elderly American lady behind me. "They're profiling." No go - they pat down elderly American ladies now too. (Felt a little guilty as the Moroccan lady "Salaamed" us all later upon arrival in the USA but hey....)

Atlanta was blanketed in snow, they weren't making that one up. But it was still all a great adventure, right down to the eight hour wait at the ticker counter the next day. I was so thrilled to be on the right side of the Atlantic and come on, be honest here, if you had to spend the day in line at the airport with a bunch of strangers, would you rather do it with a bunch of Germans or Americans?

I wrote a lot and learned even more; some of it being that everyone has a story to tell, that in a crisis your fate is governed by random chance and that if you have to be in a crisis, it's best to do it surrounded by Americans. I also met a man from New Jersey (via Bangalore, India) who enlightened me on Hindu philosophy and how the Buddhists got it wrong - and set me my next path of spiritual enlightenment! (He couldn't believe I'd already read the Bhagavath Geeta and I couldn't believe I was finally beginning to understand it!) Never a dull moment, I tell you.

So that, in the end, we both were right Claire. "There is honestly no amount of torture they can put me through that will compare with that of travelling with a large family." (me, Feb 11, 2010) and "Great things can happen while you weren't getting what you wanted." (Claire, Feb 3, 2009)


  1. Just wait. I've re-evaluated my position on the take-the-dare-and-have-children stance. I just haven't had time to write the post ;-)