It is no secret that Nick loves airplanes. Everything about airplanes and airports. It is his passion and his hobby. He even tells us that he needs them. As expected, the day we travel is a red-letter day, clearly marked on the calendar on his wall. But so is “Final Packing Day.” Nick has termed the day before the flight as final packing day.
In our house the anticipation is tangible. We have talked about this day for weeks. Nick will raise up one finger and say, “Oh one more thing, we pack ….., you put it on the list?” and he will tell us one or two things that we need to make sure we put into the suitcases. Even though we have traveled together internationally since 1986, he seems sure that Arden or I will forget some important item. So we reassure him that we are putting it on the list.
This morning we have everything ready. Laundry baskets are assembled full of clean clothes and other necessities. Please don’t tell Nick that is actually Mom’s way of “packing.” As soon as Nick is ready for the day, and Arden and I are ready to focus on packing, it always is the same. Nick holds the list and reads out the item, the packing crew (you know who we are!) then finds the item while Nick oversees its placement in either his purple suitcase or Mom and Dad’s other one. Our suitcase is actually purple flowers, but he has dubbed it the other one. He loves final packing day.
The problem is that he loves it so much, that for him the anticipation can be a bad thing. For days he perseverates on packing. He believes that someone has stolen his suitcase and taken it away. He stays awake at night worried that we won’t get the packing done on time. Since lack of sleep can be a trigger for seizures, this is a big concern for Arden and me.
We try everything we can think of. We comfort him, try to show him that his suitcase is still in its place, we talk about the schedule and what we are going to do next. We remind him that we have done this many times, we have it all covered. And yet, on Saturday night, he didn’t sleep again. So neither did we. We were up with our 43-years old baby multiple times that night. Last night was better, but we, the old people don’t recover with just one night’s sleep. So now this morning, instead of heightened anticipation and excitement about packing, Arden and I are only feeling exhausted. Nick however is in his chair yelling out to me “I ready to go. It’s FINAL PACKING DAY! You excited, mom? I ready.”
So again, Arden and I will rise to the occasion and participate in this long-awaited event. As with most of us, worry can detail our best efforts. It can cloud our days until we are not finding joy at all. We are all a work in progress as we embrace our daily experiences. Be sure to look for the joy.
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