Thomas and Friends. Or, a Threat to National Security

I just returned to blustery Seattle after nine sunny days in Phoenix to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Ex’s family. (What can I say? We get along really well.) I was floored at what a difference a year makes in G’s capacity for air travel. After last year’s disastrous flight to Boston, I swore I would not board an airplane with him again until he had reached his 18th birthday. But after this trip? I’ll fly with him anytime. G’s coming up on five years old and, with how much of a flying pro he’s become, I’m tempted to take him internationally.

During our return trip the other day, things were running smooth as silk until we hit security. Despite having zero documentation to prove that G was my son, we passed through the first gate with ease. (Smuggling liquids = bad. Smuggling children? Not a problem.) Once our backpacks went through the x-ray machine, though, problems arose. “Ma’am,” said the airport worker, “I need you to step over here.”

Shit, I thought, convinced he had found my stash of tequila or my arsenal of disposable razors.

You can imagine my surprise when he produced G’s Thomas the Train backpack instead. First, he removed a container of dried apples and reran the bag. Not the apples that were causing the alarm. Then he removed a bottle of water. Not it either. After a few more attempts (and many more minutes), he found the source of the problem: a James train, from G’s Thomas the Train set. He ran the train through a few x-ray machines before determining that, in fact, it was not a weapon of mass destruction, and allowing us on our way. Thank GOD he didn’t confiscate it – those trains are expensive!

In other positive travel news, the Ex decided against wearing just a thong through security as “a statement about the new full-body scanners.” I think I can hear the entire Phoenix airport sighing a collective “Thank GOD!”

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