When I was little I got to visit my grandparents in Montana. I went there by myself, so the plane ride was an adventure. My mom bogged me down with two carry on backpacks full of felt colouring pages and candy. I wanted to fly every single day of my life.
Though flying by myself when I was young was a tad terrifying. I was around the age of nine, and I remember my mom telling me, “If your seat is beside a scary man ask to change seats. Actually if you end up beside any men ask to move, ok? Ok Skylar? If there’s a man, move away. Move away from men. Men move seats. Move….don’t sit by men, ok? Ask to sit alone, or by a nice old couple.”
I did end up sitting by some fat old man, but I was far too focused on my candy to pay any attention to him.
I remember I was supposed to get on a connecting flight. I have no idea what the hell my mom was thinking, putting an ADHD nine year old on a connecting flight.
I flawlessly missed my second plane. Some airport security guy found me before some pedophile or thief, and he asked “Where’s your mommy?”
Me: At home, I think
Cop: Your mommy is home? Did she leave you here?
I didn’t really understand exactly what he was asking. I only knew that she was not here, and, yes, I guess she did leave me here.
Cop: All by yourself?
Me: uh huh
The cop mumbled something into his transceiver
Cop: Do you know your mommy’s number?
Me: Duh *giggles*
Cop: Here, let’s go over to this phone and you call your mommy and let me talk to her
So we went over to one of the emergency phones and he let me dial my mom. I remember him sounding gruff and angry on the phone.
“Ma’am, I believe I have your child…yes, at the airport…well she is clearly not on a plane, ma’am….is that right?…My mistake then. Terribly sorry to bother you.”
He then leaned down
Cop: Were you supposed to be on a plane?
Me: I was already on a plane
Cop: Yes sweetie, but weren’t you supposed to be on another?
Me: I don’t know. Is my grammy here?
Cop: No, your grandma is another plane away
I started crying at this point
Me: DID I GET ON THE WRONG PLANE AM I GOING TO SEE MY GRAMMY DID GRAMMY GET LOST? AM I LOST? I’M LOOOOSSTTT
Cop: No, no, it’s ok, we’ll put you on your plane so you can see your grammy. It’s going to be alright. Do you have some snacks in your bag? Why don’t you eat some of your snacks?
Me: Another plane?
Cop: Yes, we’ll get you on another plane. Let me just go make arrangements.
As I was later informed by my mother, apparently I had someone designated to take me to the next plane and make sure I got on it, and I was told to meet him after I left the first plane, but I instead decided to run off past him and wander aimlessly for a few hours. They should have had someone escorting me the entire time. I was fucking nine.
After I managed to get on a different plane then the one I was supposed to be on, I was on my way to my grandparents. I sat by two kids around my age on that plane, and I remember them eating most of my candy. I was super unhappy.
When I got to Montana to see my grandma, the first thing she said to me was “You’re going to bible camp!”
I wasn’t entirely sure what bible camp entailed, but I loved camp, so needless to say I was very excited.
During the first day of camp they told us we were going to be working in a small store separating food. We were going to work in the back and box muffins and donuts and cupcakes and loaves of cinnamon bread. This sounded fantastic at the time, but now it just sounds like child labor.
We weren’t supposed to eat anything, but when they told us that I’m pretty sure it smacked into the side of my head and fell off, my head being shielded from those instructions by the huge grin on my face I had gained by the thought of all of the donuts, and all of my donuts.
Once we got to the store and they sent in us the back, they left us alone. They left a large sum of kids, alone, in the back of a bakery, to sort through a bunch of sweets. I mean, sure they were leaving a bunch of church kids to do it, but we’re still rabble-rousers.
I did help though. I would sort the muffins into a box, then eat a muffin. I would seperate sweet bread slices, then at sweet bread slices. They had some good fucking baked food. It was all a little hard though, only slightly. And it still all tasted good.
I was very disappointed after we were done helping in that bakery for the week. I’m pretty sure at the time it was the most exciting week of my life. I got the “kid in the candy store” scenario, only I was allowed to eat everything in it.
Well, I guess “allowed” is the wrong word.
I didn’t realize until I was older that all of those muffins and loaves of bread that didn’t sell the same day were, instead of being thrown out, given to the homeless and under privileged. Once I realized this, I just felt like a huge dick. But at least I had the happiest week of my life.