Wednesday, November 28, 2007

thanksgiving recapped

I mentioned a couple of entries ago that we were heading to Florida for Thanksgiving, but I failed to mention that we were heading to the mecca for all children who are destined to behave like miniature demons, especially on airplanes and in public places. ORLANDO.

My sister in law inhabits a suburb of Orlando, and although her suburb is perfectly nice and cute and not filled with the demon spawn that we witnessed the rest of the time, it was clearly a less than stellar idea for us to plan to fly down to Orlando during Thanksgiving break. Apparently graduate degrees are good for some things, but not common sense decisions, that's for sure.

On the flight down, the wonderful, kind, generous, blessed people at Delta gave us the only empty seat on the plane after I begged them shamelessly, and I had the pleasure of strapping Gabe into his car seat for the whole flight. It. Was. Awesome. Almost awesome enough to entice me to spend the money that I don't have to buy him his own seat in the future. We were able to strap him into his little seat, from which he took a lovely nap, ate a lovely lunch, played in lovely ways with his toys, and only started to throw things at the other passengers while we were landing. Whatever, I consider it a success if the woman in front of us only gets hit once with the miniature car 3 minutes before we touched down. Isn't that the measure of an excellent flight?

All around us, people talked in loud obnoxious voices about their net worth and how much they paid for hotel rooms, and which park they'd be attending, and NO JAKEY, NO, IT'S MY TURN, NOOO, MY TURN, MY TURNNNNNN!!! But my child was strapped in, and quiet, so I smiled when someone kicked my chair for the 7th time in 10 minutes and cranked up my ipod.

The airport in Orlando was a madhouse of children and large groups of people and screams of Disney! Disney! Disney! But my sister in law's house was fine and the weather was warm, and we stayed away from malls and public places and we had a great time. Something magical was in the air, though, and Gabe slept through the night, completely, every night except the first night we arrived. He hasn't done that in, oh, I don't know, MONTHS, for sure. It was amazing, except that Josh had volunteered to do all overnight wakings during our vacation week, and I was only slightly pissed that he didn't have to get up at all. It would have been nice for him to feel my pain, but it's fine. I'll remember that when Gabe is old enough to ask for a new toy.

We did have plans to venture out of the house to Sea World on Tuesday, until we looked at the prices and holy shit, the tickets are $67.95 for adults, and children are $57.95! I want my child to have a good time as much as anyone else, but he is satisfied by the fish tank at our local sushi restaurant, so I don't think we need to spend close to $200 to get into a park. My niece and nephew were pretty disappointed, until we told them that Shamu wanted to spend Thanksgiving with her family. They understood, grudgingly, so we took them to the zoo instead.

We also had a little conversion ceremony for Gabe while we were in Florida. In Reform Judaism, which we practice, Gabe is Jewish because we say he is Jewish, because he was circumcised and because we behave as if he is Jewish. We didn't need a special ceremony to proclaim something we already know. But for more conservative sects of Judaism, Gabe needs to have an official conversion because he wasn't born to a Jewish mother. If Gabe decides to practice a more conservative type of Judaism, or wants to marry someone more conservative than we are, we didn't want him to be encumbered by my not being Jewish. So we went ahead and did the stricter conversion, just to be safe. It was sweet and short, with a simple dip in a ritual bath at my sister in law's temple. Josh took him in and he was a champ and then we all clapped and sang and had a lunch afterwards. Josh would tell you that most importantly, Gabe got his first Red Sox yarmulke. It was a day of milestones.

Thanksgiving was uneventful, except for the exceptional quantity of food Gabe consumed. My stomach hurt just watching him inhale turkey and mashed potatoes and green beans and stuffing. Gabe is my miniature garbage disposal these days. All food is good good good.

The flight home, however, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, turned out to be a nightmare and a half. Children were screaming, the people in front of us thought it was acceptable it play a movie at full volume on their DVD player with no headphones, and the people behind us must have been hard of hearing because they screamed their conversations to each other. We had to ask the DVD player people twice to turn down their movie, they refused, and we finally called a stewardess who was also unsuccessful in her attempts to get them to (a) use headphones, (b) turn down the volume, or (c) turn off the movie. I ended up listening to the whole The Little Mermaid movie, loud enough to hear each and every word and song. Somehow that 2 and a half hour flight felt like 6 hours, seriously. It was unreal.

Now, we're safe and sound at home, and after one painful night, Gabe has slept through the night for the last three nights. I'm in disbelief at not being exhausted. It feels marvelous. I haven't unpacked yet, because it seems like so much work to unpack just to repack again for our trip to Germany and the Czech Republic in another 2 weeks. I refuse to think about what that time change is going to do to our sleep situation. Denial is a useful tool these days.

It almost doesn't need to be mentioned what I am thankful for this year. I think we all already know.


Meika said...

One year when I was in college, my family decided to take a trip to Tampa to see my cousins over Christmas, and to take in a little local color while we were there. So we went to Disney World on Christmas Day. After all, who would go to Disney World on Christmas? Everyone would surely be home with their families. Ahem. Apparently the Disney hajj takes place on this particular holiday. It was too crowded to even turn around. They were also having the coldest weather they'd had in thirty years - it wasn't really any warmer than back home in the Great Northern Mitten.

Having only flown with my daughter in her own seat (on the company's dime, of course), it was bliss... and worth every penny I didn't have to pay. We're talking about another trans-Pacific trip on our own dime...I can't imagine having her on my lap for thirteen hours!!!

And Gabe is eating turkey dinners??? Gakk. C is about five weeks younger than Gabe. She eats Cheerios. That's it. Sometimes if I shove some food into the center of the O or smash them into casserole she'll get a little on the side... but that's it. I think it's time to crack down. :)

Whew. Long enough comment? Oh wait, I'm not done. :) Very interesting explanation of the Jewish stuff - I didn't know any of that! Fascinating, fascinating.

Angie said...

Gabe is so handsome!

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