Ayelet burst into tears practically the minute we entered the airport. Helping me with the luggage, my husband exchanged looks with me to the effect of, “Well, what did you really think was going to happen?”
She screamed the whole way through check-in, bag check, and security. The cause of all the aggravation seems to have been an unwillingness to be tied down in the stroller while so many interesting people and pieces of luggage rolled by. Ultimately the only article able to keep her at bay was her elephant blanket Ears, to which she clung fiercely, including while going through security. It hadn’t exactly occurred to me to pry him from her arms and put him on the security belt along with her little baby sandals, her stroller, and, well, everything else, but never fear, Ears was subject to a strict wand-test instead.
Amidst the ordinary ordeal of laboring our way past security, I suddenly witnessed the extraordinary: the proud Israeli flag on the tail of our airplane sticking up in the air. “We’re going to
!” I told Ayelet. Israel
I’d need that sense of purpose to get me through the next 10 hours. The highlights of holding a 2-year-old in my lap for that length of time included dinner, during which I attempted to shovel food above Ayelet’s head with the hope of getting it into my mouth, mostly unsuccessfully as much of it fell onto my lap and onto the other logical place, Ayelet’s head, while Ayelet sprayed rice over us both as she tried her best to eat herself. The plane’s bumpiness at that particular juncture didn’t help the process much either.
Finally Ayelet fell asleep on me, and I discovered something. Ayelet is a very mobile sleeper. She shifted on me from position to position, trying her best to keep comfortable, which ensured that I definitely was not. But better that I watch her sleep than the other way around.
One way or another, we made it! Crusted with airplane food and sleep-deprived, I felt underprepared to meet what the day had in store for me. Still, the first step is showing up!