The trip is long and patience is short. The air is stale, our muscles are stiff, we’re tired – hopped up on sugar, salty snacks and anticipation. After three weeks away, we should be landing in Vancouver in about an hour. But it’s going to be a long hour. Why? Because Theo has completely lost it.
We’ve been on the road (from Niagara to Toronto during rush hour), in line (at the dingy car rental) or in the air (including 1.5 hours on the tarmac) for about 12 hours. No one has slept a wink.
Theo is like a caged animal ready to break through the windows. He’s tired, beat, spent, but can’t settle. So he handles it the only way he knows how: by screaming and yelling and thrashing around in his seat. He’s exhausted our snack supply and is no longer capable of managing an iPad without damaging it, and there are no TVs on the flight.
We try everything. We break out his superheroes, give him a milk, hug him, sing songs, chat, read, shush him, shake our fists, get him to look out the window, sigh, cajole, but he rages non-verbally against the injustice of being trapped in the machine.
Finally, I spot the snow-capped mountains of North Vancouver in the distance, the matchbox buildings below and the ocean ahead. The wheels make a crunching noise as they drop, the pressure shifts, we buckle up and prepare for landing. And still Theo yells, moans and thrashes.
Slowly the plane descends. We see the dotted lines of the runway. We can taste freedom and almost feel the soft beds of home. The wheels hit the tarmac, we exhale. Silence. Mark and I look over at Theo as his eyelids gently flicker, fade and close.
This is my third post for the September – 21 Moments Writing Challenge. Eighteen more to go! Bear with me!