Ancient History

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Wild blue yonder

The official sound on an airplane is the murmur. The pilot murmurs the cruising altitude. The nearly silent flight attendents dole out pillows and 2 ounces of Diet Coke per passenger. The business travellers have nothing to say, saving their words for saving their jobs. Couples cuddle together and curl whispers until they tangle. Grunt, snore, stare. leavin on a jet plane

Aidan, who never got the memo announcing she was to gaze knowingly at a laptop screen or read “Fit” magazine, shouted: “There are squares! Squares on the ground! Why haven’t I noticed that before?”

Because you’ve never been up this high to see the ground. The squares are farms. I murmur.

“Do the farmers know about it?” she demanded.


We had just taken off, flying into a sunrise and away from a night I was glad to kick to the curb. It gave me no rest. I was too excited about our trip to Chicago.

Christmas 2004 brought an American Girl Doll to Aidan’s eager arms. It was a gift from my parents, a dream come true. When she discovered there was a Place for American Girls, she wanted to go. We’d talk about how much fun it would be for the two of us to jet off to Chicago for tea with her doll, never really believing it would happen.

buckle in On Christmas morning, 2005, a silver envelope appeared on the tree, addressed to us. We saved it for last and opened it together. Inside was an airline confirmation, a hotel reservation, tickets to the theater, and a ticket for a dinner reservation. We were going to Chicago. Hubby had done it all—played travel agent and put together every last detail of our trip. It was a complete surprise.

Aidan and I found ourselves in the sky, two weeks later. The four pajama’d boys and hubby had been kissed goodbye and we were off, not knowing exactly what we would encounter in Chicago. We laughed, we cried, we had a crazy and unexpected meeting with a family member, we met the King of Chicago and have photographic proof.

We are now home, recipients of God-given journey mercies. Aidan is back at school, I am once again Suburban Mommy in brown clogs and a purse with a two-feet-long SuperTarget receipt stuffed inside.

I am going to spend this week writing about our adventures in Chicago.

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