Every summer we test our collective patience with a 19h, door to door trip to Northern Denmark to visit with my in-laws. Weather permitting, it can work out as a pleasant vacation – not permitting, it can be a more challenging time, at least for the Danish illiterate of the family.
But this year was different. My OB put me on the no-fly list, with my complete cooperation, and I packed up H and Ben for a boys’ trip. I began preparing Ben for a mama-less trip as soon as I received the word, so we could minimize upset. We’d tell each other how we would miss each other on the trip, but that Ben would have a fantastic time – his grandparents, his cousins, and the sea was waiting for him, along with some hungry sheep and the cows in the pasture.
Of course, the flight would end up being the most eventful in our short history as a family – Ben diagnosed with a strep infection a few hours before the flight; an unrelated medical emergency forced them from the no-man’s land between northern Canada and Greenland, and three hours later put them on the tarmac at Montréal. Where they sat for 2 full hours while the flight crew tried to find a way to purchase more fuel. Then another 7 hours to CPH, and a scramble for the last flight to Alborg. When they arrived at my inlaws’, it was nearly 1am local time and Ben woke up, ready for action.
So, what would I do with all this time alone? MD appointments, ultrasound peeks at Little one, hosting friends from Spain, and sleep. A much more active social calendar, with dinner invitations and no curfew, save what my energy might permit. The photos of the perfect vacation only began trickling in yesterday, my little boy decorating a Danish kageman, climbing the dunes at Rubjerg Knude, and eating butter cookies with chocolate filling. H sounds soft and happy, tired, a little sad that we are apart on his birthday and our Danish wedding anniversary. (For the latter, it’s an echo chamber we made together.)
But in spite of all this, it’s been wonderful to make visits and share meals, just like in the old days, before motherhood, before west coast exile, when stories and laughter were the draw.