A funny thing happened on my way home

[Ed. Note: I’ve stripped out a bit of unnecessary bit at the beginning, and it was suggested that I sanitize it for sensitive eyes…]
So last week, I was huddled with my mom back in Oakville, Ontario. No, I didn’t publicize this because — and utterly¬†no offense meant to anyone — I didn’t want to see anyone but my Mom (and by extension, my sister and her family).
The story here isn’t the journey to Oakville, or even the events in Oakville. This is about my trip home to Calgary.
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Our first family flight

I remember the excitement as a kid on those early mornings where we got up to rush to the airport to fly somewhere. It was a hurried affair that I simultaneously loved and loathed. While most of me vowed to never deal with such mornings as I grew older, I think some small part of me always expected that one day, I would be guiding my children on similar mornings.
Today, that small part got its moment in the limelight. Alex and I had not gotten to bed until well after 1am, having to finish packing, take down our Christmas tree (didn’t want a trying piece of highly-flammable timber being left inside), and making sure all was well with the house. (Oh, and dealing with a sick Monkey. Choo Choo got more sleep than the rest of us, combined.)
And yet, we were off and running in under an hour. Not bad, eh?
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On my way home

Well, the wedding’s done, Tamara and Dan are wed, and pretty much everyone is pooped. The bridal party was out late the night before, the groom’s group was fairly tired, and I’m just beat from all the running around. My feet are killing me.
It wasn’t the shortest wedding I’ve been to, but it was definitely more expedient than most of the ones I’ve seen. That said, it was still a lovely ceremony.
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We have a travel-safe baby

I’ve had the luxury of travelling many places of the last few years. Of those times, I’ve been on more than a few planes that were exhibit to babies that did not travel well. And by not travelling well, I mean they cried.
A lot. Loudly. Ear-piercingly.
My biggest fear is that we would have one of those children. Loud. Ear-piercingly. So instead of casting disapproving glances at others, we would be the recipients of such withering glances as to kill off entire forests.
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Turning Japanese Again, Returning to Canada

I can’t even call this a “last day”. Yesterday, really, was our last day. Today is the packing/travelling day.
And the day to say goodbye to dear friends. I hate leaving friends behind.
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Flying home to Calgary

I woke earlier than usual — about 8:45 or so. Craig was still up, but not nearly as tired as when he’d scared the bejezesus out of me.
Turning down his offer of a beer (for Craig, this was still the end of the day), I got a glass of orange juice. Craig and I took the opportunity to have a chat about his career. I guess I forced the issue. I’m worried about him. I don’t know Craig as well as perhaps I could — he’d family, but aside from a few visits, I don’t know him even remotely as well as I should for a brother-in-law. For what I do know, though, Craig works too hard. I know the desire, though. I know what drives him, what pushes him forward. I had that drive once. It’s died off in recent months, mostly due to recognition of my own faults.
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Flying to Montreal to visit friends

I honestly couldn’t wait for 5:00 to come this morning.
Today is the start of my first break longer than a long weekend in almost a year. I’ve been working away on my job, barely taking time off, slaving through one of the hardest Christmases I can remember, and wondering whether anyone’s really noticed.
I won’t even mention my lengthy list of non-work activities.
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