Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Smokey's Saga

They always say it takes one second. Just one second of you back turned and he’s gone. The heartbreak, the anxiety, the sheer crazy lady factor are all experienced with a loss like this, but I should start from the beginning.

If you follow me on twitter, you witnessed real time a portion of this nailbiting saga. A precious item, worn with love, was callously taken from my little man. It really all could have been prevented if a certain airline had allowed for family boarding, but I’m not here to place blame.  The day itself had been stressful already. Gbear was not pleased at all to have to leave Papa Bear, but Smokey, his beloved bear, offered him some comfort {and let’s face it, gave me comfort too} Rushing around a busy airport, full of strangers, getting further from his papa with every step, it was Smokey who was there all along. When I was stressing about if we would even make the flight {I shake my fist at you Atlanta airport} Smokey was Gbear’s calm in the face of Mama’s crazy.

Boarding the plane was a struggle. Thanks to the airline not allowing families to preboard, combined with the flight already being quite delayed due to a mechanical issue, people were impatient, abrupt, and definitely not exhibiting any of that Southern Hospitality I’ve heard so much about. I struggled to wrangle Gbear {who was clutching Smokey- not willing to part with him to place him in our bag}, the carseat- which was really a necessity traveling with a three year old with special needs, and fold up the stroller all while having people grumble about having to wait two more seconds to board the plane {none of whom offered any help, but I’m a big girl- I’m more than happy to do it all myself, but don’t get pissy with me!} As we boarded the plane, Gbear was full of excitement. He thinks planes are some sort of fancy train, so he gets super excited every time. He took off down the aisle and I was delaye for a brief moment by the flight attendant {they have to check that carseats meet the requirements} In that moment, Gbear ducked into a row of seats to get a better view out the window. All the while the people behind me are breathing down my neck, stressing me out. I grab Gbear, the carseat, and somehow manage to get them in our row {with a bit of struggles and accidentally sitting him in the wrong seat} Finally, we’re strapped in ready to go. We were the last group to board so it wasn’t long before the flight attendants are doing their safety briefs and we are taxiing.  Suddenly, Gbear’s asking for Smokey {he’s got his own sound for Smokey- that’s how deep the love goes} The same Smokey I thought he still had with him.

Cue panic. Smokey. Lost.
On the bright side, I KNEW he had it on the plane, so I simply flagged down the flight attendant as she was doing final checks and asked if anyone had found a bear. No dice. I asked her to make an announcement which she gladly agreed to do once we were in the air.

I tried to occupy myself with other things and keep Gbear busy so he wouldn’t keep asking for Smokey. Three year olds can quickly shift to meltdown mode and I wanted to avoid that at all costs. The lady sitting next to me {aisle} fell asleep and we climbed through the air. Finally, we reached our cruising altitude and sometime shortly after that, I glanced across the aisle {one row forward} and lo and behold, Smokey’s distinctive little face is propped on the gentleman’s knee. I should have jumped up then and there, but the seatbelt light was on and the woman next to me was fast asleep. I thought, I’ll wait a few minutes and hopefully the light will go off. Relief washed over me as I knew where Smokey was. It was only a matter of time before the reunion would happen. So I thought! At some point I glanced over and Smokey had disappeared. I thought perhaps they had managed to give him to a flight attendant {that’s what you do when you find a well loved item stuffed animal on plane right?} Eventually the flight attendant made her announcement, asking everyone to take a look around their seats for a missing bear. Nothing. I begin to realize these people aren’t giving him back. People around me think Gbear lost it in the airport, but I SAW THE BEAR!

I began to stress. How could they keep this bear? It’s not even a very attractive bear; he’s threadbare! Clearly loved and missed! What would an older couple want with a teddy bear?! I didn’t know what to do, so I took to Twitter {couldn’t call anyone as it was midflight} where my lovely tweeples quickly rallied around me to bolster my reserve. I had to confront them. I had to get that bear back. The rest of the flight seemed to drag on. When we finally landed, the flight attendant told me to stick around and look around the plane, but I knew where the bear was. I gathered Gbear and followed the people off the plane. When we reached the baggage carousel, with all of the other passengers around, I quietly approached and explained how much this bear meant and how we NEEDED him back. The couple claimed they never heard any of the three announcements and had no idea he belonged to someone, but gasp, they GAVE HIM BACK. The Saga had ended. Smokey was reunited.  My faith in humanity was slightly restored. I still get so angry thinking that this could have all been prevented if they had just given him over in the first place, but I am so thankful that we got him back. 

*special thanks to all the ladies on Twitter who shared my outrage and rallied!


JG said...

Oh my goodness, I'm so glad you got him back! I honestly don't pay attention to in-flight announcements, like, ever, so they may have been oblivious, but seriously, that's ridiculous. why wouldn't you give it to the flight attendent as soon as you found it?

Haylee said...

I'm glad he got Smokey back! My "security" stuffed animal got lost when I was a child (it was found), and my family still loves to tell the story. Ha.

Unknown said...

I would be piiiissssseeeed, obviously if it looks worn its someone's and special! I'm glad he got it back -from one stuffed animal lover to another- now to get a smokey holster made ��

Karen said...

That is my absolute worst nightmare - that we lose Giraffey. I'm so glad that the people gave it back to you.

Fran said...

I still can't believe they would try to keep him :( I'm so glad Smokey was handed back!

Steph said...

Oh my! Thank goodness you got him back!

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