The land of blue horses

We arrived safely in Denver yesterday and are enjoying time with Doug’s extended family. This morning as I came down the stairs with the baby in my arms, Aunt Kristin said: “Here, let me have that baby. Why don’t you go back up to bed.” I don’t think I even said anything as I turned and walked right back up those stairs! Later this morning I played outside with the kids in Aunt Kristin’s “park” (backyard), and I alternated between pushing Aaron (AKA Jay Jay the Jet Plane) on an airplane swing and crouching down with Mercy in the snow with her miniature dinosaurs playing Land Before Time.

Travelling for the first time by plane with all three little ones was certainly an adventure! I thought getting through security was a challenge before. It is almost an outright impossibility now. But the day was filled with the most gracious people who were put in our path. The gentleman behind me in the security line was cheerful, kind, and encouraging. At 5am. In LAX. Behind US! I usually avoid eye contact or apologize profusely or tell people to go in front of us. He wasn’t interested in any of those things. He chatted it up with me, smiled at Elijah, and never fidgeted with impatience.

Then there was the flight attendant who, the moment I stepped inside the airplane offered to hold the baby for me while I herded the rest of the kids down the aisle to where Doug was installing their carseats. She held him up until the moment she absolutely had to do other parts of her job, and I was able to get us all situated without even worrying about what to do with him. All of the flight attendants adored Elijah, and they spent the flight teasing him about looking like Donald Trump (he has this weird hair thing going–part mohwak, part bad combover, and the Donald reference is right-on I’m afraid!).

There were also the two guys lucky enough to be seated on the aisle seats in the two rows we occupied. They were both sweet about the babies, totally warm and kind to us, and I realized how I basically prepare myself emotionally for people to be annoyed and rude. It is no small thing, then, when people’s reactions are quite the opposite. The only difficulty on the flight was when the woman in front of me (also travelling with a small child next to her) decided to recline her seat completely into my lap. Where I was holding my baby. Who is not small. I was a bit incredulous that she could be either that clueless or that inconsiderate. I am still not sure which was the case.

One of my favorite moments yesterday was as we were leaving the Denver airport, we drove by a statue of a giant blue horse (symbolic of the Broncos, I assume). Our whole trip this winter, we would watch out our windows for horses, and we each had a color that was “ours” that we would look for. Mine were the brown horses, Mercy’s were the white, Doug’s the black, etc. Well, Aaron was set on his horses being blue. So needless to say, we rarely saw any horses for Aaron (there were some horses wearing blue horse blankets once, but I am pretty sure that was the only time he got see “his horses” the entire trip!). So as we were driving, there in all it’s glory was a giant, blue horse right outside Aaron’s window. He had such a look of satisfaction on his face, like he knew if he just kept looking he would finally find them. Priceless.

Categorized as Family


  1. Welcome to an alternative version of “God’s country,” minus the regular rain and gray skies :^).

    A diverse and gritty 3 million folk metro here with mostly blue skies and wilderness and outdoor stuff second to none. Yeah, the daytime highs are in the 40’s for a few months a year and we get some snow. So what?

    A place a lot of young families and progressive Christian ministries should consider. Denver/Boulder welcomes folks like that.

    The Denver Chamber of Commerce doesn’t pay me, believe it or not :^)

    Aaron was doubly blessed to see the blue horse after his long wait.

    The “Mustang” statue went through a long journey to get outside of his window and went up the day before you arrived. He was probably one of the first people to see it.

    Not about the Broncos. The idea was to capture the freedom and creativity (and cool eccentricity) of the mountain west.

    The guy who created it, Luis Jimenez, was a celebrated New Mexican artist in this part of the world.

    He was killed by the sculpture while making it. A cast of the mustang broke loose from its moorings and crushed him in his studio. His kids and other artists finished the thing on the basis of his blueprints.

    That’s why it took so long. And why Aaron’s timing was so good.

  2. Did I ever tell you about the time when I walked through airport security holding a six month old, a 4 year old attatched to one leg, a two year old attatched to the other and we set off the alarm? Then we each had to be wanded separately and the lady insisted that the kids stand spread eagle. Or the time when the flight attendant cut her safety message short because no one could hear her thanks to my child. I am glad your travels went well, but remember if they don’t you get a great story.

  3. Erika,
    You should collect all these posts regarding your adventures with your family and get them published in a book. I love how you tend to always find the good in possible stressful situations with your kids.
    Tell Doug hey for me!

  4. Maybe the lady on the plane was neither
    clueless nor inconsiderate, but may have
    physical challenges that are not easily
    detected by others. For myself, for example,
    I would be in big trouble, physically, once I landed if
    I weren’t able to put the seat back. And
    the fall-out from that might last for weeks.

    It’s a tough thing to be on a plane. The
    other side of it is that the individual has also
    purchased a ticket to a seat that reclines
    and choosing to use that reclining seat
    doesn’t mean one is being rude at all.
    It may be necessity.

    Glad you were surrounded by lots of good
    spirited folk, and wow, a blue horse???!!!

  5. Tom,

    Thanks for the info on the statue! How tragic that the artist lost his life. We certainly looked at it in a different light as we left the city.

  6. Christine,

    Thank you for that reminder. How quickly the world can become all about me! It is so true that we can never really know what is going on for people, and we do well to assume the best which I did not.

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