When I was a senior in High School, my parents took my younger sister and me to Hawaii for Spring Break. It was the first time that either my sister or I had ever been on an airplane and it was the first time that either of us had ever missed a flight.
Yes, we missed the first flight we were ever scheduled for, yet we eventually made it to Honolulu and had a vacation to remember. Given that experience, you would think that I would have handled today’s missed flight with just a tad more grace, alas, no. Just…no.
On that trip to Hawaii, my mother did a couple of things that have gone down in our family history, things like allowing her knee-high stockings to slide down her calves, where they settled into flesh-colored puddles around her ankles, effecting a pair of very wrinkled cankles. My sister and I found that unfortunate happenstance hilariously funny, my Dad found it somewhat embarrassing and my Mother found it annoying and not nearly as hysterical as the rest of us did.
Later, she would become the butt of a number of additional jokes; one because she managed a wicked clothes-lining of a tiny Asian woman when she threw her arms wide to hold open an elevator door because my sister had accidentally exited the elevator on the wrong floor and another because she compared a foul odor emanating from the trunk of our rental car with the scent of limburger cheese that had been placed on the engine block and, I mean, really? Who had ever heard of such a thing?
Suffice it to say; my sister and I laughed a lot at my mother’s expense on that trip.
Today, when my daughter laughed herself into hiccups because I had fallen on my face while attempting to run up the down escalator at the airport, resulting in a profanity-laced temper tantrum, a tantrum to rival that of any cranky four-year old; I thought about my mom and of that trip to Hawaii. The memory of the grace exhibited by a woman completely unfazed by the criticism of her ungrateful daughters shamed me into not killing my children later in the day when re-enactments of the now notorious temper-tantrum played out at the dinner table.
I hope my children know that they have their grandmother to thank for their continuing existence on this earth. Also, I hope my grandchildren enjoy stories about that one time, when grandma failed to drag her fat ass up the down escalator and ended up bloody, battered and bruised, cursing at nuns because, like my mother, I am now legendary.
In other news, we are now safely arrived at Disney. I’m looking forward to a better day tomorrow and, with any luck, no additional ammunition for my children to use against me in the future.
I realize that the odds are not in my favor, in case you are the betting type.