Posts in November 2015

Lost & Found

IMG_17791Traveling solo is not a good idea for me.

You know the book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day? On Saturday, I felt like you could have plastered my face on the front of its book cover. The day started off wellproductive, in fact. I successfully got both dogs and their stuff to the boarding location with Wes in tow, packed both him AND I, stopped the mail, took out the trash, straightened up the house and washed my hair, to boot.

Mom came to pick up Wes and then I was off to the airport to meet Steven in Atlanta. He was in Florida for a company retreat for a few days, and we had decided to make a fun trip out of his next speaking gigs because of last fall’s adventure in Spokane, WA. I had planned to go to the PRSA International Conference in Atlanta, and it turned out that Steven was asked to speak at the same conference. (I ended up not getting a reservation to officially attend sessions, but I enjoyed it anyway.)

It’s not like I haven’t traveled by myself before. It’s not like I’m disorganized. But somehow between boarding the plane from Indianapolis and entering the Atlanta public transportation train, Marta, I realized with a sinking feeling that I had left my driver’s license in my back pocket, and it was not there anymore. Or my coat pocket. Or wallet. Or ANYWHERE.

I quickly got off the train and re-entered the airport. Keep in mind this is the nation’s BUSIEST AIRPORT. I approached the Southwest ticket counter and told them I thought I left my ID on the airplane. They called the gate in which I arrived and didn’t get a response.

“That’s a good sign. Maybe it means the airplane is still there.”

They handed me a faux boarding pass that said “CUSTOMER NEEDS ASSISTANCE” and wished me luck getting through security.

At 7 p.m. on a Saturday night, the airport was pretty quiet. Thankfully there was hardly a line at security. After several minutes of explaining my situation, the security guards decided it would be funny to crack jokes that I didn’t understand because my mind was everywhere and flustered and my heart was racing. “Steven’s going to be so mad at me.”

They let me through, so I took off my shoes, scarf, jacket AGAIN and took out my laptop and toiletries bag to be scanned. I quickly gathered my things and set off so that I could try to catch the airplane before it took off again.

The lady at the ticket counter had told me to check with staff at a different gate because they couldn’t reach anyone via phone. Thankfully the staff at the other gate was kind and went to search the airplane on my behalf. They came back empty-handed. Strike 1.

During this whole ordeal, I had been texting Steven, who was boarding a plane in Florida to arrive in Atlanta a few hours later. He probably felt helpless trying to problem-solve from afar. I felt terrible making him feel so out of control. I felt out of control!

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Somberly, I headed back to the Marta train and arrived at the hotel. While in the ridiculously long check-in line, my heart raced again as I began to dread what I knew happened…I LEFT MY LAPTOP AND TOLIETRIES AT SECURITY. Strike 2.

I called my parents in a blubbery mess because Steven was unavailable – flying. I just had to vent. This is so unlike me! What the heck is wrong?! How on Earth could I be this careless?! For a hot minute, I considered going back to the airport again, but stayed put. I needed to check into the room and cry. Lost and Found was closed for the next two days, so I filed a claim online. That was all I could do until Monday morning (which led to an 1.5 hour phone call). Strike 3.

Steven arrived an hour or so later, and I collapsed into him. Poor guy. I was a hot mess. He calmed me down and we decided to make the best of it. Everything I had lost was replaceable.
1) Driver’s license needs to be replaced anyway with our new address.
2) My Chromebook wasn’t that expensive, and it’s password protected. It’s easy to spot, though – lot of stickers on the top – so it probably can be retrieved.
3) I can buy contact lens solution and a case and a toothbrush and everything else needed for the next couple days.
4) Make up? Oh well. I can survive without it.

I love Steven. He’s so level-headed. And he invited me to join him because, well, I bring the fun and interesting to his life. 🙂

And we DID have fun. Following his morning speaking engagements each day, we went to the World of Coca-Cola Museum and tried flavors from around the world. We walked around various parks and streets, even though it was cold and rainy. We rode the downtown ferris wheel. We checked out CNN World Headquarters. We tried some local eating spots. We visited the world’s largest aquarium, which was likely the highlight of the trip. Touring the place made me miss Wes something terrible. He loves sea life and ocean creatures, and I could hear little kids shouting at something unique and cool and knew he’d be right there with them.

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I’m now sitting in the airport, ready for our journey home. I successfully collected my laptop and bag of “stuff” from Lost and Found this morning, and my umpteenth romp through security was rather uneventful. They’ve seen it all, these airport staff. And everyone has been so nice – I mean everyone. Atlanta, you’re good.

My driver’s license is still lost, but whatevs. I’ll spend my lunch break at the BMV tomorrow, and heck – it makes for a good story.

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Posted: November 10th, 2015
Categories: Leah
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Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love

After Steven left early for a morning meeting, Wes ventured upstairs and hung around the bathroom as I was getting ready.

(Looking in the mirror) “Mama, why is it blue under my tongue?”
“Oh, that’s called a vein. See them in my hands? They move blood to the rest of your body.”
“To help me work and play and move my hands?”
“Yep.”

You can always tell when he’s thinking hard about something, putting two-and-two together. After a couple minutes, deep in thought, he went on.
“Can I listen to your heart?” (I bent down to his level.) “I hear it!”
“Did you know that your heart pumps bloods to your arms and legs?”
“Yep, through those blue ‘vines’?”
“Uh huh – veins.”
“And that’s where Jesus lives, too, right?”

Last week was a rough one for Wes’ discipline and obedience. But “being like Jesus” seems to strike a chord with him, and lately he’s felt guilt and shame – and sin.

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At bedtime earlier this week, he mentioned it again. I guess he’s really struggling at school with his friends.
“I don’t know why, but at school I act crazy. It’s really, really hard.”
“Why is it hard to follow directions?”
“Maybe my friends? And when I do bad things, God will punish me and take me to heaven.”
“Well, if you disobey, yes, you will be punished, but you are always forgiven. God loves and forgives you. That’s not how you go to heaven.”

It’s been a little over a month since the death of one of our friends. Wes has been asking many questions about heaven since then, and that night was no different. It’s still a bit scary to him, and he’s afraid that we’ll be separated.

“Mama, I don’t want your body to stop working.” (How we addressed death.)
“Oh, honey. I hope that I’ll have many years with you before that happens. But when it does, we can be together again in heaven.”
“There’s lots of rooms there. I want a nice room in heaven.”
“Me, too! Maybe we can share a room with you and me and Daddy.”

We talked a little more about the wonderful things in heaven, his preschool struggles, and we decided that he could rely on “Jesus in his heart” to be a good example at school: be loving, kind and generous. Listen and obey. We prayed for strength, courage and for our friends’ family, who is coping with their recent loss.

Watching Wes think deeply about his actions and the reason to live has given me pause for thought, too. It pains me to witness his understanding of our world, and it softens my heart to witness his desire to follow Jesus’ example.

As The Jesus Storybook Bible describes it, I am grateful for God’s “Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.” (And for his wisdom on how to respond, teach and demonstrate this love to an empathetic and impressionable four-year-old boy.)

Posted: November 6th, 2015
Categories: Leah
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