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Hawaiin Nightmares


February 7, 2011

Using an obscene number of frequent flier miles, we were finally able to book that dream trip to Hawaii.

Well, it’s not dreamy in a romantic sort of way, because our kids will be coming with us, but it’s still a dream trip because we never thought it would happen.

In fact, it hasn’t happened yet. There could still be a blizzard on the day of our departure. Or a glitch in the reservations. Or maybe Air Force One will break down and the President will need to commandeer our flight.

So when will the dreams ensue?... The ones about palm trees and hula skirts swaying in the breeze?

Since my husband booked the trip, I have been having a series of nightmares centered around the trip and my children. Not dreams at all.

They are somewhat based on my children’s irrational apprehensions. Some of them are about getting through airport security with three squirrelly kids.

My son thinks that if he brings an extra battery pack for his PSP, security will think it’s a bomb. Lights will glare and sirens will blare and armed men will whisk him away to spend the rest of his days in a high-security prison.

My daughter wants to know if she should wear sandals instead of sneakers. Why? She thinks that if she wears sandals, she won’t have to take them off for security, because there is nowhere to hide a weapon in a pair of sandals.

Poor delusional child. Security is checking breast implants for explosives, surely her sandals will not be spared.

Because of a movie preview he saw on TV, my youngest is convinced that if we are on a plane too long and I fall asleep, all of my children will be kidnapped.

I tried to reassure him, but he was not to be mollified. Finally, I asked him where he thought a kidnapper would hide three kids at an altitude of 30,000 feet. He told me after some consideration, “He could just put us in the air vents.”

“Well, then, that will be the first place I look,” I said.

He said, “Okay. As long as we have a plan,” as if we were going into a battle zone.

All of their worries combined in my own subconscious and manifested themselves in my nightmares.

One nightmare boy announced to a flight attendant that his PSP was actually a bomb. We happened to be going over Siberia at the time. (Yes, we were going to Hawaii by way of Siberia. Nightmares are not known to be reasonable.) After his announcement, we were pushed out the emergency exit door and landed in ten feet of snow. That gave a whole new meaning to the word “grounded.” Nightmare Mom grounded nightmare boy.

Another nightmare had us all in line at security. They let me and my husband go through to the next of five hundred more lines, but my kids were suspect. As our line moved, we were pushed further away from our kids and couldn’t get back to them. We had to go Hawaii without them. I still wonder if that was really a nightmare.

I am not worried about kidnappers on the plane, but apparently, I am worried that my youngest will take it into his head to explore the airport and accidentally get on a plane headed to some third world country where child slavery is legal.

I think that maybe my subconscious is manufacturing obstructions to our trip because it never thought we’d be able to go either. I wonder if, after the shock has worn off, my subconscious will start playing those palm trees and hula skirt dreams.

Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at Or visit her website for more info.

Laura is a syndicated columnist, author, & speaker. You can reach Laura at Or visit her website <a

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for more info.


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