Saturday, July 23, 2005

And then there were 2.......... (for the time being)!!!

Can you hear that?

*sounds of silence*

*visions of tumbleweeds*

Lovely isn't it?

Yep. My mum just left (not that I'm celebrating that as I'm not!) but she left and she took my kids back to the UK with her for a week.

Here is the last pic I took, just so I remember what they looked like. I'm pretty much a useless mother who would pick up foreign kids dressed as Arabs from the airport if they looked like they recognised me! Really. I would!

Nanna and the kids

But let me tell you this. It wasn't without the usual stress that comes with anything that I have planned! Oh no!

To begin this story, you need a smidgeon of background info.

As you know, my eldest, Nick - the one on the right up there, works at McDonalds. (please don't hold that against me!). Well, he doesn't have state ID yet, so whenever he goes to cash his paycheck, he has to use his passport for ID.

Can anyone guess where this story is heading?

Well, he had taken his passport some time ago, unbeknownst to me.

I say unbeknownst, because HAD I known, I most certainly would NOT have washed his jeans with the passport in the back pocket.

The passport that he had only just got one month before!



Now this was a couple of months ago, and when I looked at his passport, everything was in place. His picture, the passport details. Everything. The only thing different was that it looked like it had been washed, and the blue jacket had sort of separated from the actual pages. But aside from that, it looked like a well used, worn passport.

Now, bringing you up to date. I booked my mums tickets and theirs, with the intention of the kids returning with my mum, and George going over to pick them up next Thursday returning on Monday. I've had enough of England - sorry UK folks! The kids were so excited you can't even guess. They haven't been back there for almost 6 years and they of course look different and were just going to have fun.

So, bear in mind they were flying today, of course it did not enter my tiny mind that Nick would have any trouble with his passport.

Then on Thursday, I thought to myself "Hhhhmmmm, perhaps I should check with the passport office JUST to make doubly sure he will be fine".

*Uh errrrrr (sound of a "wrong answer" buzzer going off there)*

Yep. I was told it was a big NO NO. They did tell me that I could make an appointment at either the Philadelphia Passport office or the Chicago office to get a passport replaced the same day. See below why this was not an option.


Mentor to Chicago

Yep. That trip alone was 360+ miles. Never mind that the automated voice-mail thingy said I couldn't have an appointment for another week. Too late for Nick!

So of course I had the accepted Nervous Breakdown.

Folks, you have simply no idea what kind of mess I was in. Crying, shaking, puking, the full mashings. Then I thought, "God, if I'm like this, what is Nick going to be like?" Nick who has been looking forward to this trip for over 6 years!

So, eventually G tried to calm me down. (Eventually I said! Took him a while!) Basically, he said we should just try our best, see if they let him go through, and if not we would just change his ticket for three weeks time by when we would have a replacement passport. Either way, Nick would get to the UK.

So I figured "OK, there really wasn't anything else I could do"

A bottle and a half of wine later, Nick came home and I told him the bad news.

"OK" he said.

Huh? Just OK? I RE-explained to him 4 times as I thought he simply is NOT understanding what I am saying to him!

But he did. AND he was fine with it! I could have hugged him a million times.

So this morning, they were arguing with each other, packing, re-packing, remembering what they had forgotten to pack, trying to get me to do laundry 5 minutes before they left, all the usual stuff.

We set off for the airport. My stomach churning.

And they let him through! He got through the first bit. I hugged them, told them to behave for their Nanna and to take lots of pictures (they either will forget they have cameras or take lots of crappy out of focus, blurry, dark pictures of nothing.)

So now we have to wait and see.

I'm waiting for a phone call at about 7:45 pm from Newark airport saying they are sending him back to Cleveland, or a phone call at something to 2 AM from the UK saying they won't let him in and are sending him back. If not, then he will have a good trip.

By the time they are returning, G will be there with them so if there are any problems, he can sort that out.

But in the meantime?

Silence is golden. My house is tidy. Things are put away. No sulking. No whining. Just silence.

I may even start to prance around naked if we don't get the phone calls. How is THAT for a child-free house?


7:37 pm and George asks "Shouldn't they be boarding right about ..........." ring ring......... ring ring.........

(it was just one of Dan's friends asking if he was home..... phew.)

It is now 7:50 pm and we are assuming that they left Newark OK. Fingers crossed for the rest of the journey!

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