I perhaps should add a #11 to my Lessons from Here to There: don’t forget all of your house keys when you travel! A Realtor who showed our house mere hours before my uneventful (until then) return home instinctively turned the lock on the doorknob on his way out. Unfortunately, we never use that lock, and all of the other accessible locks required a key that we didn’t distribute to all of our friends. We were locked out.
Perhaps it was payback for feeling smug about having to drive to base on a weekend to save the day when my husband locked his keys in his car. Or perhaps it was just to be a reminder of how much responsibility falls to me in caring for the family when the Mister is deployed. What is clear, though, is how valuable (and wonderful!) good friends are, and how sometimes it’s just smart to take the help you’re offered.
Good fortune #1: our friend eagerly watched our two dogs while I was out of town, and even stopped by the house to pick up heartworm meds and more food (and then went to the pet store to buy more food) when I wanted to extend my trip. All with her own dog and infant.
#2: said friend offered to pick us up from the airport. I was fully prepared to cab it home – after my hotel shuttle experience, I was prepared – and didn’t really want to put her out by having her drive across town to get us. But I accepted her offer. I called her the morning of our return asking her to bring a spare key (see above), since I didn’t pack any of my own house keys (as my husband drove us to the airport in my car and then was deployed unexpectedly the next day). Thankfully she was there, with my stuff and baby loaded up in her car, when I became aware of the fact that I was locked out of my house anyway.
#3: said friend took us to her home, fed us, entertained us, gave us a place to sleep and drove us all to our house to meet the locksmith the next morning.
In short, my last piece of advice to every mother traveling with a child on her own is to have a good friend or two who is in on your plans and who you can count on to help you out… just in case!
I’m going to miss the good friends I’ve made in Omaha, and I hope I’ll be so lucky in finding friends in England.