Monday, June 30, 2008
Kenny Takes on Chicago!!
We are finally home after an extraordinarily frustrating day spent at O'Hare Airport as we arrived at 10:00 AM to find ourselves ultimately only able to travel as far as Denver which we reached at 11:00 PM Saturday night. We had 8 gate changes, a replaced engine and 4 flight changes in order to get that far, along with a total of 3 hours and 20 minutes spent standing in lines at United Customer Service counters. By the end of the day I could completely understand why some people totally come unglued at airports. While I somehow managed to remain calm and less frustrated than I expected...it was only because at some point during what Kenny has now aptly named "The Very Worst Day" I saw the absurdity in it all and we ended up laughing about a good portion of it all. We did get some airline vouchers out of it for future flights and an overnight stay in a Red Lion Hotel in Denver while we crashed on the bed for the remaining 3 hours we had to sleep in our stinky clothes, so I guess it was worth it. However, I was really hoping to get home as it was our 22nd anniversary and it would have been nice to celebrate it in some way other than via cell phone. But as we said good night to one another we realized that one specific day isn't what makes a marriage or a celebration, and we celebrate in lots of small, unassuming ways all year long.
While in Chicago our friends took us sightseeing, and we got a taste of Chicago! We went to the Navy Pier where we had a picnic lunch and played in the funhouse mirrors which I think Kenny had never seen before. We fed seagulls and ducks and learned the difference between them :-). We rode the train/subway which was a first for Kenny as well. At Millenium Park we played around the big "bubble" and it was such fun to see all the adults clamoring to make faces in it as well, and I felt for the first time that public art can be really cool. I was amazed at the big stage they have there and hope to one day hear a concert there. I was surprised how comfortable downtown Chicago felt, it has a very different feel to it than Los Angeles and I liked it a lot. For myself, I loved seeing the neighborhoods filled with older style brick homes.
Throughout the entire time there and our Groundhog Day at the airport, Kenny was awesome. His behavior was appropriate and mature, and he was a breeze to be with and very helpful. It was a relief after our struggles in California, and I was grateful that he was at his very best during the aggrivation of O'Hare. We actually will find ourselves giggling over it for a long time to come, I think, the beginnings of shared private jokes between Kenny and I as we work on building our personal history together.
This morning we received another surprise blessing. When at Shriners we were assigned a Social Worker who will be with us throughout our process there. John is a neat guy, he is...well...short. I mean, about an inch taller than Kenny. And in 2 minutes you could easily see his heart is huge. He phoned us this morning to inform us that we do not need to pay one more payment on Kenny's first stage of orthodontia, that he had already spoken with our orthodontist and Shriner's would arrange to cover the entire bill!! This was totally unexpected and a huge relief. I continue to be amazed at how Shriner's is helping us be able to have a better future as they not only provide Kenny with exceptional care, but lift some of the financial burdens we have been concerned about since bringing Kenny home to find there was more work involved than we originally thought with his cleft. When I shared the great news with the boys this morning over breakfast, we all broke out into song singing "God is so good, God is so good, God is so good...he's so good to me" which we learned at camp last year.
We have a week of down time before Cub Scout day camp at the end of next week and then church camp for the boys the following week. So far it has been a wonderful summer!