H Charles Jelinek Jr DDS - July 2019

July 2019

JEL INEK JOURNAL WELCOME, PENELOPE MAE! Becoming Grandpa 2.0While Stuck at the Airport 703-584-5996 www.Nor thernVirginiaDental .com

At the end of April and early May, I was visiting various practices from Boise to Salt Lake City to learn more about sleep apnea and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. After a few exhausting days crisscrossing the western half of the U.S., I headed to the airport late on Saturday, May 4, for a 12:15 a.m. flight (the dreaded red-eye). On my ride to the airport, I learned that my flight was pushed back to 2 a.m., and though I was a little annoyed, I kept going, figuring I could kill a few extra hours before boarding for home. After arriving at the airport, my flight was pushed back again to 3 a.m. before it was finally canceled. Irritated by this turn of events, I sought help from an airline representative. There was a 9 a.m. flight on May 5 I could have a guaranteed spot on, or I could stick around to possibly board standby for a series of 6 a.m., 7a.m., and 8 a.m. flights. After an internal debate between finding a hotel room for the next few hours or waiting in a near-empty airport, I decided to stay put and see what would happen at 6 a.m. So, there I was, stuck in the Salt Lake City airport, trying to catch some sleep while two other weary travelers and the janitor mulled about. Evidently, I chose the exact region the janitor was cleaning, and I was lulled to sleep by a vacuum and pure exhaustion. Around 2 a.m. on Sunday, May 5, my phone began to light up. Since nearly everyone who would be blowing up my phone was two time zones away, I was confused by the intrusion on my impromptu airport nap. But the reason was worth the disruption: My daughter, Sydney, was going into labor a week ahead of her due date. Readers may remember that Sydney and her husband, Kelan, were set to welcome their second daughter and our second granddaughter in mid-May. We were all thrilled about this tiny addition, but I never thought I’d hear the news of becoming a grandpa again in just a matter of hours while stuck in the airport. I would soon learn just how great I was at killing time.

No one else was expecting our second granddaughter’s arrival that day either. Sydney’s sister, Amanda, was flooding my phone with texts and updates as she made the frantic trip from Arlington, Virginia, to Richmond, Virginia, where Sydney had begun labor. Amanda’s bags were already packed in anticipation of this event, so she flew out the door upon hearing the news.

Meanwhile, I was praying for an open seat on the earliest flight after eight hours at the airport. Thankfully, I caught the 6 a.m. flight and made it back to

Washington, D.C., by the afternoon. Exhausted, I collapsed into sleep by the time I got home, and the following week dragged by as I waited to meet our new granddaughter, Penelope Mae. One week later, I finally met Penny and spent the weekend with my family. Later that month, I manned the grill at a Memorial Day party with my family and my brother’s family. We learned that my niece (my brother’s daughter) is due with her second child around Thanksgiving, and she was fawning over Penny during the whole celebration. Penny’s older sister, Louisa, is equally as infatuated and curious about her little sister.

To be honest, we all adore Penny, and I cannot wait to see how she takes this world by storm, given the chaos that ensued on the night she was born.

– H. Charles Jelinek, Jr., DDS


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