“I’m done carrying this,” Natalie explained. She dropped her pink backpack at my feet. It didn’t occur to her that I would refuse to help her out.
The problem was I already was struggling with my own backpack, a suitcase, a carry on bag and my purse. Traveling without Tom is not always easy. If he were there I’d have handed him Natalie’s backpack. He’s a soldier and is used to walking many miles with heavy crap on his back.
“Natalie, you’ll have to carry it,” I insisted. “I can’t.”
Natalie scowled. She crossed her arms over her chest. It always amazes me how she can go from sweet to sour in seconds.
“Come on, Natalie,” I tried again. “Do you want your mother to look like a bag lady?” I probably looked frightening. I could feel my hair standing up on the top of my head. I could feel wetness on my neck. Oh my God, I was bleeding. The backpack must’ve been digging so much in my skin and—
Oh wait, it was just sweat. I stared at the glassy film on my fingertips that I had just swiped across my neck. Gross.
“I’m already sweating like crazy,” I said.
Natalie was unmoved. She just plopped on the floor, waiting her snack. I had picked up donuts at Dunkin Donuts—I always do this when we fly out of San Antonio.
“Is Natalie in trouble?” Tommy asked. Tommy! I could ask HIM to carry Natalie’s backpack. But…well, it’s not that my son is weak or anything. It’s…okay, he’s a little on the weak side. He already had his backpack, plus his own suitcase. If I handed him Natalie’s backpack he could topple over. He’s one of those tall and skinny types even though he tries like mad to build muscle (I try to explain that lifting my 3 lb weights for only two seconds won’t do much but he doesn’t believe me.)
“She’s not in trouble but she’s wearing on my patience,” I replied, settling down beside her. I opened the Dunkin Donuts bag and breathed in the deliciousness. Is there nothing better than fresh donuts? We washed our hands and then I handed the kids their chocolate donuts and pulled out my Boston Cream. I love Boston Cream donuts. Plus I bought some iced hot chocolate to wash it all down. I took a bite of my donut and…some of the custard spit out from the other side and landed on my pants.
So not only did I look like a disheveled mess, I also was a disheveled mess who was a slob.
“You’re messy,” Tommy said cheerfully. He should talk. He had a ring of chocolate icing around his mouth.
“I’m done,” Natalie said, pushing her donut away. She eats like a bird. She’ll take a few bites and then insists she’s finished.
“That’s a perfectly good donut right there,” I reminded her.
“I’m,” Natalie said firmly, “DONE.”
Well, excuse me.
I ate the rest of her donut because hello, wasting Dunkin Donuts is a sin.
We were riding on Southwest so we had to line up soon after. I tried to put Natalie’s backpack on her but she wiggled free. So I was left carrying it. I slung it over my arm and acted as though I weren’t about to keel over at any second.
“If I start to tip over, push me back upright,” I whispered to Tommy.
And Natalie. Well, she was just happily dancing in place. It must be nice to dance in place and not have to worry about holding anything.
Luckily the kids behaved on our flight from Texas to Oklahoma.
And then we were home.
Where it’s been over 100 degrees for 20 days or something like that.
Hotter than TEXAS, people.
Anyway, that’s all the traveling I plan to do for awhile.
And now I’m ready for school to start.