I sat in Gate B looking at the people taking their seats around me, waiting for the call to board. There is a single carry-on seated at my feet, stuffed with snacks, a book (a book! with real pages!) and various other in-flight necessities. I wonder, “What is it with people and congregating around the gate podium before boarding? I notice a man standing there, grasping his boarding pass, a pass that clearly displays Zone 6 and I’m fairly certain they’re still boarding the privileged first class suits.
I have a LOST moment as I glance from face to face wondering if these would be the last faces I saw should the plane fall from the sky in a ball of fire and metal shards. Morbid? Indeed but the truth is, I hate flying. The only thing I hate more than flying is dentists. Nothing personal, really. I don’t hate the person so much as the experience of having someone poke around in my mouth with sharp primitive-like tools. But flying? I’d rather not, especially since I had my two boys.
I hate flying so much that I woke up at 4am and drove two hours to an airport just so that I could fly direct to my destination. After all, I once heard that the majority of plane crashes occur on taking off and landing. For me, the least amount of times I could do either of those things and arrive at my destination seemed the only way to go. A 4am wake-up call and two hour drive north was nothing if it lessened my chances of hurtling towards the ground as gravity ripped my limbs from my body.
I hardly slept last night. Between the anticipation of travel and having to pump and feed the baby once or twice, I think I managed only two or three hours of really good REM. I kissed the foreheads of all three of my boys before I left this morning. The toddler and my husband both sweaty as they slept and the baby, curled up next to my husband, whimpered as he opened his eyes to see me leaving.
I know the boys will do just fine without me while I’m gone. After all, I called in the reinforcements of my parents and I’m confident they know better than to tell me if anything goes awry while I’m away. They’ll send me happy text messages and pictures of the boys and it won’t be until I’m safely back home with them that they’ll fill me in on any mishaps or blunders along the way. They know me too well.
I know they’ll all be just fine. After all, I left them meticulously detailed schedules taped to the fridge and even labeled sock drawers and pajamas drawers and left notes around the house where they could find certain beloved things like blankets and favorite puzzles. Of course I also picked up a few new toys for the boys to open each day that I’m away, hopefully distracting them from not only my absence but also from terrorizing the house, a skill they have mastered impeccably well.
It makes me nauseous, leaving them but I know it’s a necessary thing and good for everyone involved. They need to realize how awesome of a parent their Dad is (who knew he could pour milk and make scrambled eggs too?) and I need a few days away to remember what it’s like to not be just Mom all day every day.
It’s a strange thing, this being excited to spend a long weekend away with your Internet friends. To spend hours learning the in’s and out’s of creating a brand, sharing your story, remaining authentic. It’s something only bloggers (and, on a good day, their significant others) could understand. For lack of a better word, it’s truly awesome.
I’m sitting here in seat 12C writing this with the hum of the engine turbines in my ears and a dull drone of conversation reverberating around me. No one wants anything from me. Not a drink, not a snack, not to watch a Thomas “moobie” with the “remope.” It’s as uncomfortable as it is nice. I sure do miss that soft little toddler voice stumbling over the “V” consonant sound and watching the baby’s head pop up again and again as he pulls himself up to stand at the couch where the toddler is vrooming his trains. I like this kind of quiet but it only makes me miss them more.
I know once my feet hit the ground in Dallas I will be busy. So busy greeting old and new friends, networking, laughing, story-telling and maybe for a minute I will forget about that which I left back home.
Until then, however, I’ll occasionally dip my hand into that single carry-on that sits at my feet, my fingers searching for and finding the softness of a little boy’s lovie that each time I rub its spit-stiffened corners between my fingers, I am reminded of what, more importantly who, is waiting for me back home.