A memoir of musings, allegories and adventures covering my inspired life...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My newly Puerto Rican Child

Okay, so I just returned home after spending 9 days in the British Virgin Islands so rather than make you jealous with about a hundred stories of how gorgeous, relaxing, exciting, fantastic and perfect my vacation was last week, I have decided to share with you the circumstances surrounding a small mishap we experienced during our trip home....Picture it..place-the airport at San Juan, Puerto Rico, time-sometime late afternoon Saturday. We had a 3 hour layover so my family and I were not too concerned about the 2 hours of customs and security checks before entering the U.S...so about 30 minutes before our plane is scheduled to take off, I decide to go the the gift shop around the corner and leave my family sitting there at the gate. Brandon INSISTED he come along with me and I had no objection at the time, so he came. About 10 feet before the gift shop entrance was an ever-so-tempting turn-style door that led to Baggage Claim and my son headed toward it with the enthusiasm of a coon-ass toward an unattended six-pack of beer. I snapped at him with my motherly reflex "Brandon, dont even think about it, no playing in the turn-style door, stay next to me please." So he obeys and we proceed into the gift shop...his hopes dashed. As I finalize my purchase, I suddenly notice that the "mom can I haves" had ceased and all was quiet. I look around and notice Brandon was not by my side. I walk out of the gift shop to find my son on the other side of the turn-style door, looking at me with eyes welled-up with tears, and he was holding the hand of a butch-looking woman who had more hair on her upper lip than on the top of her head. She calls me through the turn-style door and I go through...without thinking. It was only at this moment that the securtiy gaurd decides to inform me of the fact that once a person has passed through the door, they have left the secured area and must go back through customs and security prior to boarding their flight. Ok...two problems...one..my flight was talking off in less than 20 minutes and two..our passports were in my backpack which was with my family, who were sitting at the gate getting ready to board the plane and had no clue where we were!!! I had to get my passport and the security gaurd could not communicate with the security agent on the other side of the glass due to the fact that HIS English was extremely broken, and her Spanish was rusty at best. So I proceed to knock on the glass trying to get the attention of a fellow American who seemed to find the whole situation amusing from his seat at the gate. But then the security woman finally gives the proper Puerto Rican hand signals which prompt the male security gaurd on the other side of the glass, to go searching for my family. (apparently when you dont speak the same language, hand signals will do...I knew a few choice hand signals that I wanted to use at that point, but in the interest of not starting wars with foreign U.S. territories, I kept my feelings to myself). The male security guard says to me "I find family with passport..what you name?" So I tell him Miller and he disappears for what feels like an eternity. Finally my sister comes around the corner with our passports and we proceed to force them through the small gap between the glass. And I run, Brandon in tow, down the escaltor, through baggage claim, out the door, around the exterior frame of the airport, to the arrival section, through the entry, past the check-in counters to security. I'm practically hyperventilating and trying to tell the customs officer that I have nothing to declare. Long story short...as I boarded my flight only a couple of minutes before take-off, I took the opportunity to lecture Brandon. And when I asked "Have you leaqrned anything from this Brandon?" He replied "Yes ma'am. If you dont listen to your mom, you could be left in a foreign country and have to become a citizen of Puerto Rico forever." And my father, who at this point was laughing at my expense, decides to add his two cents by saying "Yeah Brandon, you were about two minutes away from having to eat nuthin but goats and chickens for the rest of your life."