Hello writers, editors, and friends! This post isn’t editing related, except that I got a little of that done on the flight. And, it’s late. But what are summers for if not vacations and writing and reading for pleasure? This is me. Thanks for reading. <3
I’m on my 16th flight since you were born. 15 of those flights were spent with you in my lap. Your dad was there to help with one, but aside from that, it was just us.
The first few flights were hard. My fault. I never seemed to pack enough milk. I hadn’t yet learned to hold back your naps until takeoff. I fed you too much because it settled you, and then never had enough blankets for when you inevitably puked. I thought four-hour layovers were no big deal.
Then we both got in our groove. We discovered ways to pass the time in the airport, like finding a yoga room or watching the planes take off out the window. After we settled into our seats you’d play with the seat belt and tray table and munch on yogurt pellets until takeoff, then I’d reveal your bottle and you’d be full and passed out in no time. Sometimes you’d fall asleep cradled against me. Sometimes you’d turn so our bellies touched and I could feel your cheek dampen against mine.
A couple of times you’d wake up mid-flight and would be almost impossible to settle again. I’d run out of tricks and feel close to losing my cool. Sometimes the passengers would help try to make you laugh, and you would – deep-belly baby giggles. On our way back to Dallas from Tennessee once, a very wonderful (or very fed-up) American Airlines flight attendant, Penny, took you for a few minutes and gave me a bottle of wine in return. Everyone was happier.
Other flights we weren’t so lucky.
But I only remember snippets of those. The warm snuggles, the curious stares, your looks out the window – I remember those in detail. I remember them as if that’s all there was.
Dad and I are on our way to the rugged Montana mountains – his favorite place; my first time. You’re home with Mamaw and my lap is empty, and now that you’re almost two and baby Jack is on the way, you might never fly in my lap again or fall asleep against me during takeoff. For now my arms and hands are free to write and drink coffee and lay my head against your dad. It’s easier, sure, and it’s exciting to be going on adventures with him. But it’s so bittersweet. I’ll miss you. I’ll miss our adventures. I’ll miss the new pictures and stories I get to share each time we survive another trip together. I’ll miss the belly giggles I get from you when I’m trying my darndest to keep you from crying.
We did more than survive our travels together. We made memories that you might not keep, but that I will cherish forever. But I didn’t expect such memories. I wanted to make you an efficient, courteous, and fearless flyer. The whole purpose was to give you wings.
Guess now I’m stretching my own.
Our first flight
Penny – my fairy godmother
15th flight – the best travel buddy
Empty laps are the worst, but…
…sharing adventures with this guy isn’t so bad. 🙂