This is Eli

A blog about Eli. A blog about survival – and by that, I mean life!

The attendant at the desk waved me away when I asked her to help check us in and print our boarding passes. I needed to visit the kiosk to do that. There was no line at the desk. There was a line at the kiosk.

“Really? My daughter and I are really cutting it close.”

The cool-mannered blond remained unmoved.

I lugged my car seat, three small bags and 4-year-old another 10 feet to the kiosk line before begging a gentleman to let me cut.

“I’m sorry, my daughter and I are running late. Would you mind?”

He was kind, unlike the blond.

I next missed a check-in cut-off. It was 5:33 a.m. Our flight left at 6 a.m.

The blond who dismissed me now informed me there was no way to board.

I exploded like airport scary mommies carting little people have before me. I’m surprised no one called security.

“Did you miss the sweat beads on my forehead from hauling this 30-pound contraption? What kind of a human are you? I want to talk to a supervisor.”

“I can call but it will take several minutes for her to get over here.”


A half-hour argument plus Twitter rage to @deltaassist resulted in me catching a flight to Cincinnati just an hour ahead of our original plan.


Then, in a rapid metamorphosis, scary airport mommy left the building, and fun, travel-loving mommy returned.

“Hey, baby, want some Pop-Tarts?”

Laila and I were travel buddies, going together to Cincinnati.

That’s because my sister is having a baby. The sweat, the airport blow-out, the lugging of awkward-shaped car seat — it was all for our Aunt MeMe. No WAY was I going to delay our reunion, even if it was my fault for being late to the airport, or whatever. We were going to Cinci! Let me on that plane!

My little sister is 8 months pregnant and about to have a baby boy!

The weekend was lovely. I’m going to let the pictures tell the story.

Anna, my niece, at auntie's house.

Anna, my niece, at auntie’s house.

Laila, my nephew, Drew, and the weird, creepy statute in the backyard of my sister's 1920s house.

Laila, my nephew, Drew, and the weird, creepy statute in the backyard of my sister’s 1920s house.

Pretty shower at Emily's friend Jessica's beautiful home.

Pretty shower at Emily’s friend Jessica’s beautiful home.

My older sister Laura and I.

My older sister Laura and I.

Me and Emily, ie Aunt MeMe

Me and Emily, ie Aunt MeMe

Bump swag

Bump swag

My cousin Annie and her baby Alice!

My cousin Annie and her baby Alice!

Pregnant like a fox

Pregnant like a fox



I must mention something along the lines of our gene pool. My sister Emily was tested for the cystic fibrosis gene and does not have it. That means baby boy will not have CF.

We were all very relieved to hear this news. Our Eli is a light and he has enriched my family’s life in every way. I would never wish a disease upon any child, and at the same time, I have to admit that his disease shook my family alive. We look for beauty and happiness and find it more because of him.

I must also mention the absence of someone important from my little sister’s baby shower, our mom, aka Gayle, aka Gigi (her chose grandparent name). As I cooled down from my scary mommy explosion, the anniversary of her leaving us passed. It was four years ago last Friday morning. G-unit wouldn’t want us to pout. I looked at Laila at the airport, knowing what morning it was and what time it was, and all I felt was happiness.

She taught us all everything we need to know about being a mom, including but not limited to, the best uses for scary mommy explosions, which do yield fast results when implemented correctly. Of course it stinks that our mom won’t get to meet sister’s baby boy, but her absence makes me want to be there for my sister the way my mom would have. The weekend proved we could be a new family unit, and a strong one, and a happy one, because all of the gifts she gave us in her time on earth. Her loss made my sisters and I dig down deep and find strength we didn’t know we had.

The weekend came to a close. It was time to go.

Aunt MeMe and Uncle Kyle made sure I got to the airport two hours ahead of my flight.

The only drama on the way home was a sprint Laila and I took together to catch a connecting flight.

Half-way through, she stopped.

“Mommy, I’m out of power,” she told me.

“Laila, OK, listen. You can do it. You have more power than you think. We gotta tap it. We gotta get there. Now give me your back pack. Mommy can hold it. Run. Follow me. Go!”

We made it to our gate with three minutes to spare before boarding began. We are home again.

Like taking pics with iPhones? Me too. Here’s more of that in the category iPhone Photography (because I can’t stop won’t stop). Some of my favorite apps are: VSCO, PicFrame, Afterlight, and A Beautiful Mess.


One thought on “Running through airports with littles

  1. Angel Bush says:

    Julie, I love you and your blog. This one had me laughing and crying. The Keeping girls are all great mommas. I know Gayle is so proud.


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