Blind Baby Daddy Blog 4: Blind Man Coming Through
Last blog I spoke about some of the thoughts that went through my mind in the planning for the baby. Now that baby Kennan is alive and growing faster than those weeds in the garden. One milestone event in every parent's life is traveling with the baby for the first time. Baby Kennan has now become a seasoned traveler and along with that has come a little chaos.
The first time we traveled with Kennan, I thought we were moving. We had the normals including car seat, stroller, car seat back, stroller bag, diaper bag, breast milk pump and a few articles of our own personal clothing but just enough to avoid being in the nude. We also traveled with our small dog Retina who is very attached to Brittney. This creates a problem when the dog wants to be on mommy's lap just as much as baby. So we had Blind Baby Daddy (me), Retina the dog, baby Kennan and Brittney. The picture of me with the baby carrier and my white stick is a classic one.
The first trip with Kennan went without too many memorable moments except that Brittney and I were unable to get seats together which created a bit of a problem when I had to return Kennan to Brittney to eat but couldn't find her. Its a little awkward when a guy is pacing back in forth in the aisle trying to use some sort of visual cue to recognize mommy. I felt kind of awkward stopping at a random person and saying, "Hey, I'm looking for the mom to this child. Its my kid but I can't find my wife." Instead of doing this, I just started saying, "Brittney" multiple times hoping for a response. It was kind of like playing my own game of Marco Polo.
Our most recent trip was to my sports manager Carie Goldberg's wedding outside Los Angeles. This time Brittney's mom, also known as Gigi, came out to take care of baby Kennan during the wedding and then came back with us to Seattle to be grandma for a little longer. The return flight home brought a little chaos. Our flight was at 12:30pm and we were running a little late. We left for the airport a few minutes before 11am but unusual Sunday morning traffic and long lines at the airport left us scrambling to make our flight. I first went to the customer service desk with Kennan and my white cane knowing that we would need some extra time and this was the only option I could think of to make sure we made our flight. As we are trying to multi task putting the 5 pieces of luggage we had to check, Kennan of course decides this was a good time to drop a deuce in his diaper but that one was going to have to wait.
It took 15 minutes but we got all our boarding passes and scurried to security. With Gigi being of age for a senior she got premier access. I quickly passed Kennan off to Gigi to take through with her premier access. Brittney and I went through regular security and with new regulations they are now asking that all food items be removed from bags. We probably had 5 bins of stuff and the clock was ticking. At this point it was 30minutes before departure and Gigi was through security and headed to the gate as I recommended she do. As our luggage went through security of course my stuff was picked for special check. The clock was ticking and i told Brittney to just go to the gate and if I don't make it than at least they will get on the plane. It was the definition of frustrating as there must have been 25 TSA workers on the back side of security but most of which were just standing around chatting and conversing. I feel like TSA officers have become the formerly stereotyped police officers all hanging out on the corner but using five people to do one man's work. There was now a back up of bags that needed checked but only one person doing the checks and passengers were getting restless. Finally they pulled aside my stuff and I had no idea what was suspicious to them.
As my bag was checked, Brittney was calling to tell me that they were closing the gates. Despite Brittney explaining to the gate agent that her husband is blind and is stuck at security, the agent wanted no part of that. While on the phone the woman at TSA returned and said, "You are all set to go sir. Your Goldfish looked like explosives." Without fully taking in what she said I said to Brittney, "Okay, I'm running. Where is the gate?" I whipped out my white cane and started just running. As I was running I was kind of laughing to myself about what others were thinking as they saw a man running through the airport with a white cane. Just as I was thinking about this I was running down a slight ramp and hit a small flat landing and almost took a nose dive. Brittney saw me and started yelling, "Aaron over here.." Luckily, they had not closed the doors and as I said hello to Kennan he started to giggle as though he knew what was going on and thought it was funny.
As we walked on the plane I was still shocked that my bags got pulled out because the goldfish snacks that I had pulled out into the bin was the alert to flag my bag for further search as it was perceived as an explosive. There may need to be further security training if the goldfish snacks were signaling explosives or maybe I need to further check what the ingredients of the cheesy goldfish snacks I have been eating. If I was plotting something, I also don't think I would put my explosive Goldfish out in the bin. Regardless of the hold up, the bright side was that it paid off to use my white can as a warning sign to, "Watch Out, blind man coming through."