A Christmas Miracle. Really. And a few other thoughts...

Jake left at six this morning hoping to make it to Santa Rosa, NM for the night. Tomorrow morning, he's driving to Dallas to pick Cora, Magnolia, and me up from the airport tomorrow night. Then we'll drive approximately two-and-a-half hours to Holdenville, OK and be set.

We scored some amazing airfare to Oklahoma for the holidays. $41/person one-way. We gobbled them up, hoping we would find something even half as lucky for the return flight. We never did, and as we are living the lives of poor grad students, we made other arrangements. Jake gave up his $41 ticket to drive ahead so we would have a ride from Dallas, but most importantly a car to drive home in because renting a car would have been just about the same price as return flights. Renting a car and return flights were both beyond our budget.

Jake let me know he was in Santa Rosa, and it prompted me to go ahead and check-in for our flights tomorrow evening. Our confirmation code wasn't working. Odd. Jake and I both did some digging, then he called me and said, "We are in trouble."

Our flights were for today, Tuesday, December 15th. Not Wednesday, December 16th like we'd been planning on since we booked our flight. We messed up. Not only were they for today, the plane left L.A. at 6:05 PM, Jake and I were figuring all of this out at 8 PM.

My heart sank. And I wanted to throw up a little. Jake was half way across half of the country WITH the car seats (LAX is an easy bus ride from our apartment, and not having to lug two car seats and two girls around on a bus seemed pretty perfect to me) and we'd unknowingly missed our flight. Before I let total panic set in, even if I kind of wanted to throw up, I promptly called Southwest. And then they called me back in 13 minutes because they have that great feature where you don't have to waste away waiting to get ahold of someone.

Enter Toa - the best customer service rep ever. The going rate for the flight we thought we booked in the first place was $217. I explained our situation, and she got to work. And worked and worked and worked. At one point, she said, "I'm still seeing what I can do."

I responded, "You keep at it, I'm just over here praying for a Christmas miracle."

$41 was an impossible mark, especially when there were only 6 seats left on the flight (but for real, the fact that there were any seats...Hallelujah!), but she did manage to make the difference between what we originally paid a mere $48/ticket. For $144 we averted what could have been such a sad, sad situation. $144 was so much better than the $500+ it would have cost otherwise. But if you're still wondering what to get me for Christmas...I love putting money in my bank account. ;)

Phew. I am grateful. And from here on out, I will obsessively check reservations. And then recheck them, and then have nightmares about them, and then wake up from said-nightmares to confirm again.

And a few other thoughts....

At 7:10 this morning, I received a recorded message from the principal of my girls' school saying that school was cancelled, and that all LAUSD schools were closed because of a threat. I had several initial reactions all at once, though the one that likely edged out the others by a millisecond was that I was no longer going to have a day by myself to do last minute prep before we left for Oklahoma [TOMORROW!]. In the middle of that thought, I wondered what kind of threat would have to have been made to elicit a response that would affect SO MANY people.

I'm not going to try and say this was an overreaction; in hindsight, all things are much clearer. It just makes me sad that what turned out to be a "hoax" had real consequences for SO MANY people. I haven't said anything to my girls about what actually happened. Cora kept asking me to look up why the schools were closed. I ended up saying that they just wanted to make sure everything was going well/working right at all of the schools, so they were sending people through every single school to make sure everything was all right. It wasn't a total lie, but it wasn't the whole truth either. I've been rehearsing what I'm going to tell them tomorrow morning. I know it will be the talk of the school, and I don't want them (especially Cora) to feel uninformed. But what I really don't want is for her to be afraid to go to school. That part breaks my heart.

I was never afraid to go to school, I never even thought about the possibility of being afraid to go to school until Columbine happened. I was in 8th grade. And I remember what it was like when people would call in bomb threats in the days, weeks, and months after the shooting. These "hoaxes" sent us out to the curb until we were given the all-clear to go back in. And then we did lock-down drills where we huddled in a corner of our classroom incase there was a shooter on campus. Even then, I was never really afraid of anything happening, but I now knew there was a possibility that something could.

For as much as I work really hard at seeing the good in humanity as a whole (most of the time it's really easy), situations like the one that happened today force me to remember that, while in the minority, there are still really effed-up people whose actions affect SO MANY - All families that reside in LAUSD. Me. Two girls named Cora and Magnolia. And today's action was just a "hoax." I'm glad that precautions were taken and relieved that nothing was found. I hope that something comes of this day of an "abundance of caution" in that I hope they'll be able to trace this threat back to a person sitting behind a screen, and that that person will face consequences for his/her actions.

With that being said, here's how we spent our day off together.

I'm sure fear mongering can cause cheap thrills, but love lasts forever. And love is way more fun.  

#FearLess #LoveMore


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