The decision, taking the leap: It starts a few months ahead, about 5 months, short incubation. We are sure we want to go, so why not buy the tickets?
Conceiving: Some deliberation ensue as we discuss dates, some excited phone calls and then we do it - we buy the tickets, finalizing our trip decision, setting it in cancellation fees and expectations.
Carrying: We carry it in our mind for the next 4 months and than...well.. LET THE WILD SHOPPING BEGIN! We shop for gifts of course. Armed with wish lists, needs and wants, we scavenger hunt for just the right thing for the people we love. This task is usually accomplished by me, at times my unhappy little shoppers trudge along.
Nesting: The week and a half before the trip marks several excitement peaks. The kids go berserk, preparing cards, drawings, talking about their past experiences as well as the expected ones, the phones are filled with plans, schedules, advice, serious weather cast, measuring and weighing of suitcases.
Contractions: 2 days before the due date I'm contained. Or at list look that way. Inside I'm all electricity, raw excitement. Don't bother talking to me, I'll either forget it or lock you out. My brain is all but flying, up in the air already, thinking flight procedures, how to get through to the other side with the least bother, on time, no stains on our cloths, everybody happy.
Into Delivery: It's a long flight. No matter how much time it is, it is LONG. The lights are bright as we go through the gate, leaving what we know behind, hoping we won't get bombed, hijacked, kidnapped, food poisoned, spilled on, the bathroom will work fine, the kids won't have ear aches, I won't get a ferocious head ache, no one will get sick in a way we'll need to land for them, the books we took will be interesting and the movies will be designed for kids, the trays will be taken before something spills....you get the idea.
Delivery: We made it. Our heads crown at the plan's door, one by one like a multi sibling parade we step out, my eyes shooting from kid to kid, making sure we stay together. My makeup a paste, my eyes burning, I pray no one got a cold from that loud coughing guy at the front of the plain, right by the air condition shaft.
Clean up: We show passports, lift princess so the passport person see she'd arrived safely and still match her photo. Suitcases are tricky as I turn my head, sprinkler mode, back and forth to see my kids have not been smashed by an over excited passenger, yanking his suitcase while running along the carousel.
We manage to identify (true miracle) our luggage and pull it off the belt, check that we have 2 kids, 1 adult, 3 passports, all our suitcases, all hand bags and the cart to carry it all towards the exit. Almost there.
Vital signs: As we emerge at the arrivals hall, there are no paparazzi waiting for us but the excited murmur and the damp, overjoyed, inspecting stretched-in-a-smile lens of my parents faces. It's fun to see me through that lens. I missed it.
We breath, go to the bathroom and give thanks to the Lord and his skilled pilots who brought us here.