Yesterday was just one of those days where nothing turned out the way you thought it would. Kongo was up before the crack of dawn in Jacksonville to pack for an early flight back to the West Coast. About 10 minutes before boarding his 45-minute flight to ATL where he had a short connection to catch the SAN flight the monkey gets a cryptic text from his youngest wondering if the monkey might be up for a quick trip to Boston. Huh? Today? The Kongos knew that granddaughter number three (#1 for the youngest) was actually due yesterday but there had been no warnings and well, you know what they say about first babies being late and everything. The original plan, hashed out laboriously (pun intended) with Mrs. Kongo, the Virginia grandparents, and the expectant parents was that the Virginia grandparents would head north when their daughter went into labor and the Kongos would book tickets to arrive a week or so later so as not to overwhelm the new parents. That plan didn’t work out.
After some back and forth texting while airborne, Kongo learns that they “think” labor has started (but what do they know?) so maybe they would just go on down to the hospital and check it out. Mrs. Kongo agrees that it would be wonderful that if logistics could be arranged that the monkey should go to Boston for a day but she remembers that her first-born was two weeks late and isn’t so sure this is the real thing but the kids really wanted a little simian present. So not knowing for sure whether this was a false alarm or a grand entrance the monkey is on the phone with the Delta Diamond desk as soon as the wheels touch the tarmac in Atlanta making arrangements to get on a flight departing 30 minutes later for Boston.
Of course, nothing is that easy. it turns out the “system” thinks the monkey is still airborne until the airplane door opens at the gate and they can’t put the monkey on a flight to Boston while he’s in the air headed toward San Diego. Eventually the gate agent gets the door open, Kongo gets certified as a ground monkey once again and he makes the tight connection to Boston. Delta even waived the change ticket fee to help the frantic grandfather out. He gets on the plane and texts the kids in Boston saying he will be there at 1:30 and gets the picture below and a message that says “We will ALL be waiting for you!”
Whoa! Turns out that when they talked to her doctor he said, “Call an ambulance,” which thankfully arrived within two minutes, and with sirens blaring they rushed to the hospital, and the new granddaughter arrived 10 minutes later! The kids don’t own a car (recently being students and now professors in Boston within bike distance of their offices) so Kongo is just happy they didn’t decide to take the T to the hospital!
Mother and baby are perfect, the Virginia grand parents are on the road from the DC area and will arrive early this morning, and Kongo got the couch in their Cambridge apartment. Mrs. Kongo is jealous that the monkey got here first, and the monkey is now figuring out how to work the washer and dryer because when he left Jacksonville after two weeks all he had with him was a camera and a roll-aboard full of dirty clothes. He is sure there must be stores with something to wear nearby.
Kongo is so happy he actually made it here because he has some medical appointments in San Diego next week that he can’t postpone and then he’s on superior court jury duty for the month of September and has no idea what his schedule might be for the next several weeks. And urgent business looks like it may require the monkey to make a quick trip to Washington DC next week as well. Busy times. Mrs. Kongo will arrive in a week or so after giving the other half of the grandparent foursome a chance to play with the baby for a while and Kongo will make it back to Boston sometime in the future but he doesn’t know exactly when.
Kongo flies to San Diego tomorrow but for today, he gets to revel in the happiness of being the proud grandfather of three little girls. The newest is perfect. Mom is great. And the monkey is impressed with the sense of style and entrance that the new arrival seems to possess. She even wore the monkey hat the monkey sent her a month ago!
Travel safe. Have fun. Life is good.