• Lara Flanagan

My final goodbye

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

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I had to say my final gut wrenching, heart breaking, soul shattering goodbye yesterday.   I thought I was done with goodbyes.  Fuck it.  But no. One more goodbye.  I have had to say goodbye to Archie and Rissie’s 6pm bed time and it makes me sad and fearful and anxious and so very weepy, as all goodbyes should.

Rissie’s new word of the moment is awkward.  Everything is bloody awkward.  I have tried asking her what she thinks awkward means and she looked at me like I was an idiot, tossed her little Flicka mane and said impatiently to me, “Well that’s awkward” before she turned her mind to more important things.

So when I realised that 6pm was a thing of the past all I could think to say to myself was, “well that’s bloody awkward,” before pondering my sanity from here on in.

It all started with a plane flight.  Some might say my days were numbered long before then, but I choose to ignore them.   We made it to Los Angeles in fine form.  The three of us were seasoned travellers after 13 hours and taking everything in our stride.  We cleared customs, managed to get out bags and put them wherever they were meant to go.  We got our new boarding passes for the next leg of the flight.  We were awesome.   Then 4 hours into our 5-hour flight to New York everything went belly up.  Storms over New York City and much of the East coast meant a diversion to Dulles Airport in Washington where it seems every man and his dog and plane were diverted.  Fucking awkward.

So we sat for two hours on the tarmac whilst being advised that 2 toilets were blocked but there was nowhere we could go.  I did wonder if Archie had gifted the plane with two of his indestructible turds but he reassured me this was not the case.


Then it was playtime in Dulles Airport for another 2 hours where absolutely nobody was interested in helping me with queries about what I should do now I had missed my plane.  We flew onto Newark and landed 5 hours after we should have.   Really awkward.

I pondered my navel after we collected our luggage. Should we hang out at the airport, or hang out at the train station.  Decision was made to head into New York City where I could at least sort out new tickets and we would be at our next point of departure.   So we headed into Penn Station, tickets were organised and the kids grabbed a few hours on the floor of Penn Station! Luckily I had helped myself to two airplane blankets which I though was reasonable considering they seemed to lack any interest in offering a helping hand. 

Awkward really.

By the time we got on the train at 7am that morning it looked like a veritable palace.  Rissie fell straight asleep, Archie relaxed and enjoyed the soft seats.  We marvelled at the amazing toilets that flushed and were clean.  We enthused at the view from the window.  We were very enthusiastic. We probably looked quite awkward.

Arrival was pure bliss!   That first night the kids were crawling into bed absolutely exhausted by about 6.30pm.  “I got this”, I said to myself like a dickhead.  Completely awkward.

It all went to shit in a hand basket the next day.  I have no idea what that phrase means which is awkward but I really like saying it.  Anyway, with long hot summer days it turns out that 6pm is completely impractical for the kids to take full advantage of this amazing experience.  So after discussion with Strach and VP, realising that I was an awkward mother, I made the decision that the kids could stay up to whenever so they could play sport, run, be active, be free.  I tried not to look awkward as I glanced at the clock every few minutes as 6pm became 8.30pm.

Naturally when I bounced out of bed at 6am this morning for my new series of morning walks entitled “The discovering Providence Trails” Archie and Rissie were sound asleep, snoring blissfully and had absolutely no interest in joining me on my walk. 


I decided to embrace my new lack of routine and go enjoy the solitude of a morning walk without 2 little voices getting inside my brain.  Five minutes after I left the house Rissie sent me a message that she was sorry she had missed the walk.  If she had of waited 40 more minutes before she had sent it that would have been smart.  Alerting me to the fact that she was awake whilst I was getting my shoes on and pretending to be asleep was just plain awkward.

Goodbye set bedtime and rise and shine with your Momma at 6am.

Goodbye and farewell.

I loved you so.

That’s probably a bit bloody awkward really.  The end of an affair with a bedtime.

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#Motherhood #Travel

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