Here we are, Texas bound.
I'll ignore June's face that says, "Mom, wanna put on some makeup? You're about to see your mother!"
Jet lag...what a beating. The nice part about Texas being only 2 hours difference is that we usually stay on our CA schedule. Owen wakes up at 8:30 instead of 6:30 and goes to bed at 9:30 instead of 7:30. So, here we are, back in Fresno.
For all who've been wondering and praying: our trip was good. We did get the Apartment Life position, so now we are awaiting placement in an apartment. Michael declined one of the jobs he applied and interviewed for because they did not include the hours in the job posting. He would have had to work Sat and Sun from 7 am to 7 pm each week AND do 2 overnights a week (from 7 pm to 7 am). He made the call that it would be too disruptive to our family and church time to have such an odd schedule. I agreed and wonder whose body could switch from nights to days each week.
So, we're hoping he'll get some more call backs from the other places he applied. He'll continue to apply this week to other leads he received from friends while we were at home.
Owen and June did well, but on the return trip (2 flights and the drive back to Fresno from LAX), Owen started the "are we there yet mantra?" around Magic Mountain (no it's not really Magic; it's just how we know we are entering/leaving LA traffic). The last 2 hours were a test of his patience, but I thought that was pretty good considering we spent about 1.5 hours at Delta baggage claim trying to work out how to get Spooky Bear back to Fresno.
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Yes, we left SB on the plane in Salt Lake City. I thought I was doing so well to help Owen keep up with these little Star Wars guys my mom gave him (c3po and r2d2) that I didn't notice that Spooky went under the seat after some cuddle time. Then on the plane from Salt Lake to LA, he got really sleepy and asked for the bear. It immediately hit me where he was, but I continued to look in every bag like the lady trying to find her lost coin. By the time I looked up to tell Owen (holding back tears), he had fallen asleep in his seat. Thank God for small mercies. Then, I started crying. Michael was listening to his iPod and holding a sleeping June when he looked over to find my tear-streaked face. Needless to say, he was confused.
The gate agent in LA was so helpful. He called both cities the plane had been in since we left (Salt Lake and San Jose), navigating the Delta system much better than I could have, and he finally located him.
He told me to call Salt Lake's baggage services to claim Spooky. We went down to LA's baggage services to get the number. In the meantime, Owen had not gone to the restroom since leaving the house in Dallas (6 am CST) and it was 2 pm CST. And he still was being stubborn. Michael "tricked" him into playing tag all the way to the restroom. After finishing their business, they ran back. Upon arriving to the baggage claim office, Owen immediately threw up all over one of our bags while I'm on hold in Salt Lake for 20 minutes.
Not a long distance runner on our hands. We cleaned up, and Owen immediately started playing again. Michael and I soldiered on to wrap up our phone call and then ride the shuttle back to our car. This whole time, I had managed not to let Owen be aware of what we were actually looking for.
On the drive back to Fresno Owen finally asked for him as he was getting sleepy again. The dreaded moment where I admit my failings and say he was lost...but Michael jumped in and creatively told Owen that Spooky decided to extend his vacation and catch up with us in a few days in Fresno. Owen was amused to think of Spooky flying by himself on his own trip instead of crying thinking about him being lost alone on a plane. Same thing: bear alone on a plane, but I guess it's all in how you frame it. The question is: were we trying to save him some anguish or ourselves? Both, right?
I remember when our friend Mary was distraught for DAYS over the disappearance of Luke's "Duck". I never mocked her (I mean, my blankie is sitting in my chest of drawers right now...30 years later), but I did not understand the depth of guilt she was feeling. Now I do (and Duck was found later, so Mary AND Luke recovered fully).
I finally talked to the Salt Lake baggage claim office, and the lady said, "Oh, that orange bear? We have him. We were just making fun of that guy." OUCH. If she only could empathize.
Spooky is set to arrive FedEx tomorrow. I seriously will not forgive myself if I have lost that bear for good, so I'll be a little off until he arrives on the door step. Makes me wonder who is more attached...