Tuesday, April 17, 2012
A Few Things About Vacations...Flying
April 17, 2012
As a mom, I was always told that we need breaks away from our children from time to time. What I wasn’t told was how much I’d miss them. When I saw those little faces greet me from the back seat of the car at the airport, I was so fulfilled. All of the drinks and sleep and unedited adult conversation I’d had couldn’t even compare to the feelings my little guys gave me. Pathetic, right? I’d been itching to get away from them, but seeing them was actually the bright spot of my trip.
Anyway, I learned lots of things on this trip; some good, some bad and all unforgettable. First things, I am not a calm passenger on a plane. I mean, I’m not afraid to fly, like some I know, but as soon as the plane takes off, so do my senses. Immediately, I felt like I needed a ginger ale, Prozac, and my pillow all very different items, but for the same reasons—comfort. My stomach was doing cartwheels (and not in a good way) and my head was suddenly pounding. I felt nauseous and scared, the same feeling I get when I’m forced to ride roller coasters. I fiddled with the window shade, pulling it down as if the sun was causing my distress. However, upon doing so, the darkness lead to a whole other set of emotions, compelling me to push it back up again. The passenger beside me stared politely (whatever that means) causing me to try to get myself together. I took deep breaths, prayed, and tried not to look at the omnipresent fluffy white clouds we were sailing by.
Then it dawned on me that the notion of thousands of pounds of machinery, luggage and people “flying” so near to the imagined location of Heaven, without dropping quickly and painfully to the now distant water and green Earth below was quite ridiculous to me—surreal. I’ve flown several times, but had never felt this way. Closing my eyes made the nausea worse, so I stared wide eyed at the seat in front of me and prayed and judging by my seatmate’s reaction, some segments were probably aloud. I tried not to picture the jovial pilot (he’d made many jokes before takeoff) as a multi-tasking alcoholic or absent minded, avid social networker who had his phone right beside him, but nothing helped. Every routine bump of turbulence, had me scanning the aisle for the emergency exit and wishing I’d been listening to the flight attendant’s safety instructions and also convinced me that the pilot was losing control of the plane and that I was going to a watery grave (dramatic but true). I was relieved when the –DING- signaled that I could pick up my Kindle and bury myself into
I dreaded the flight back without some kind of sedative. But, God always knows what we need, even if we don’t ask. When I arrived to my gate, I was surprised by a complimentary upgrade to “business class”, which seated me in the second row of the airplane. The seats were bigger and cozier. I started to feel relaxed and even a little giddy about my blessing. As I was settling in, the flight attendant asked me if I wanted something to drink. So, let’s just say, I found my sedative. And though I wasn’t sure if I should thank God for the complimentary alcohol, I did because He is the provider of all things. I had a wonderful flight back home, with Milano cookies, kettle chips and chilled Chardonnay. There was still some uneasiness at takeoff, but by landing, I was engrossed in “Gathering Waters” by Bernice McFadden (awesome, slightly historical novel that I can’t wait to finish) and eager to see my family, with no thoughts of the pilot or crashing to my death.