Friday, December 28, 2007

Changing Perspective

I sent my kids off to visit family this Christmas. They had one connection to make. Yesterday, we delivered them to the airport in Providence (easier to reach, ironically, than Logan, in Boston). We had a voice mail from my son when we got back home, telling us that the flight was being canceled, and we needed to run back down and pick them up. But by the time we called back on Joe’s cell phone, he told us that the flight was back on, just delayed.

So, I was very happy to hear that their connection, in Detroit, was delayed, as well. They would be able to reach relatives and have a nice visit, after all. Well, when the kids reached Detroit, the plane was delayed, and delayed some more. There was fog. There was a snowstorm creeping across the midwest. There were planes without crews, and crews without planes. Finally, the second leg of the flight was canceled, about 2 hours after it should have taken off.

I had terrible visions of the kids spending the night sleeping in the airport – the sad photos you see in newpapers too often this time of year! I also had terrible visions that they would spend the rest of the holiday break in the Detroit airport.

The airline, Northwest, was absolutely champion. They gave stranded passengers vouchers for hotels, arranged shuttles to take them there, and even gave them vouchers for meals. The next morning (today), Northwest was able to put my kids on a flight back to Providence – they could not get them to Kentucky before it was time for them to come home, any way. And, though my son’s suitcase made it all the way to Kentucky, the Northwest folks are going to deliver it tomorrow.

I told my kids that I should have taken them back when the first flight was delayed. My insightful daughter said she would have been really angry and disappointed if I had done that. I said, how do you feel now? Alexa said, Grateful.

So, giving up the trip to Kentucky looks so much better after being faced with a holiday in the Detroit airport. And I am grateful, too – to have my kids back safe and sound!

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