Leaps of Faith

December 20, 2011

I sent my passport off to get renewed this morning. Is there anything scarier than letting such an important, personal thing out of your sight?

Maybe it’s just the family in which I grew up, but we always knew where our passports were, and I still do. Or did until I sent it out into the wide, rainy, windy, Christmas-gift saturated world to find its way through the opaque entwines of government agencies. When we were small my dad had our passports. They lived in the top right drawer of his dresser, next to the extra checkbooks and  other important papers. When we traveled, he held on to all five passports in the inner pocket of his navy sport jacket. He had his travel face on, the ambassador between his rambunctious, tired, whiny, sweet, restless, enthusiastic family and the (previously) orderly, official world of airports. They were handed over at check in all together, as a block, the agent’s eyes flicking down to the picture up to dad, down to the next picture, up to mom, down to the next, oldest brother, down, up, middle brother, down little girl barely visible below the counter. They were handed back all at once and secured back in that sport jacket pocket.

When I started traveling myself, I developed my own system. I know exactly where my passport lives in my apartment, all the time. There’s no chance that it would ever be haphazardly thrown in a drawer, it has it’s place. You never know when you’re going to need to find it immediately, and the idea of missing out on a trip, an experience, some type of fun because it’s misplaced, that just sounds too sad to think about.

Which leads me to this day, right now, where I am sans passport and full of anxiety. If my sister-in-law in London has her baby especially early, I’m screwed, I can’t go see him. If Scott decided to say, whisk me off to Tuscany or Thailand, forget it, I have to wait two to three weeks. While both of these things are unlikely, I’m without the option to go, and that’s scary.

So a small Channukah wish: Please, FedEx, please don’t lose my passport in the rush of tinsel and shiny paper and bows. US Passport Processing Center I wish for you to have a happy holiday and an unprecedented efficiency with my little helpless blue booklet that gives me access to the world. Please don’t let me down. I need no other gifts, honest, just this one little thing. Thank you.

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