I drove her to the airport at 5:45 this morning; luggage? Check. Carry-on? Check. Boo-Boo the stuffed puppy? Check. Everything seemed in order. I dropped her off at the terminal, told her I loved her and that I'd pray for a good trip, and drove away. I was about a mile down the expressway when the thought occurred to me that perhaps I should have stayed a few minutes at the curb...Emily has a habit of forgetting important things, usually at key moments and when running behind schedule. Her high school graduation was a great example - no gloves, no mortar board, and unbridled panic.
The thought of staying quickly passed and I continued toward the city, looking forward to crawling back into bed, when like clockwork my cell phone rang. "Do you see my license in the car, Dad?" It was difficult to see in the dark of the morning, and since I was already breaking the law by taking the call I thought it prudent to refrain from crawling out of my seat to search the car while speeding along the expressway. I pulled off the nearest exit but was unable to locate her license. Panic ensued as evidenced by the stream of words from the phone: "What am I going to do I can't get on the plane I can't even get a ticket my group is waiting oh Dear GOD what am I supposed to do now" etc. etc. etc. There was no punctuation in her communication so I omitted it here too.
Honorable daughter number two sleeps with her cell phone Scotch-taped to her ear, so I called and advised her to search Emily's clothing from the last three days, conveniently still located on the floor of her room. The license was located, and as I returned to the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport I reviewed all the things I would like to say to the little darling. "You remembered your puppy but not your license?" "Maybe if you'd packed last night instead of ten minutes before leaving..." "Did you make sure you brought your brain? I'll wait while you check." I pulled up to the terminal where she was waiting, looking forlorn. "There you go. Have a good flight. Love you", was all that came out. All that rehearsing, for nothing. Oh bother. She smiled and ran into the airport, and I drove home. Again.
Emily is learning to prioritize the hard way. She's not the most thorough person and tends to assume a lot, but I chalk that up to impetuous youth. As she was packing she held up a bottle of perfume and asked, "Can I put this in my carry-on?" It was a gallon decanter, and I told her it wouldn't pass. She then held up a 55 gallon drum of lotion and asked, "What about this? I mean, c'mon, it's lotion". No, dear daughter. Not even the lotion. I thought, "You are travelling on a plane. Did you look up the rules or are you hoping for a pat-down?" Making sure she was compliant with TSA laws to avoid incarceration and cavity searches was just not a priority for her. That is a frustration for an aging father who suffers from undiagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder, who despite multiple flights pours over the rules and regulations each and every time.
As I impart my life-learned wisdom and offer criticism to her when asked (and often when not) I pause to consider that perhaps, just perhaps, she has something to teach me...
"So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?' All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil." Matthew 6:31-34I got a text later that morning that she made it to NYC safely. I smiled, and envied her.