Really? It’s Just a Flight, Right?

Posted by Jen on July 6, 2009 in Lessons Learned, Mommyhood |

My mother is a wonderful grandma. [She's also a wonderful person, but that's really beyond the scope of this post.] Every year, she and my dad invite my kids to spend a month or so with her – without us. She’s done it since Little Man was 6 months old and I can’t tell you how much he looks forward to the visit every year!

[Yes, we know, we are very lucky. Yes, we know, that some will hate us for the blessing that is my mother. We can live with that.]

So we’ve reached the time when, for a little while, Husband and I revert back to DINK-dom. Ahhh … but not really. You see, once you have kids, you can never go back to anything else because you are ALWAYS thinking about … worrying about, missing, doing impressions of … your kids.

I do, however, embrace this time. It’s catch up, work hard, and don’t feel guilty time. I need it – desperately. But, I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that it’s getting harder and harder to put them on that plane. It’s getting much harder.

I would now like to share with you my experience for this year’s flight – the one that took my children almost 2000 miles from home. It’s OK if you laugh with at me. Really.

5:00 AM

Ugh. What? Oh. Dang. We need to hurry. Good thing Little Man slept in his clothes last night. Is Gram up?

5:30 AM

Ugh. OK … are we all ready? Little Man, you ready to go? Where are you? (Already downstairs in the car. Might be a tad excited.)

Awake enough now for self-talk and a stomach ache.

This is just nerves. Stop it. They’ll be fine. OK, gotta get going.

6:00 AM

Leave for the airport. Little Man talks non-stop. BK still trying to figure out why she’s up so dang early. Frankly, so am I.

6:45 AM

Arrive at the airport. Small talk abounds – little airport discussions. Little Man still talking – the car screw is his favorite part (that would be the circular ramp to the parking garage). When exactly did he become a morning person?

7:15 AM

Checked in. On the way to security. Little Man has had a bathroom stop. Husband and I are now realizing that they will be gone in about 10 minutes. Security guys somewhat empathetic to our plight tell us to move out of their neutral zone – but allow us to remain in the security line at the front so that we can watch.

We say a quick good-bye. Kids don’t cry – at all.

7:25 AM

Security is cleared. [They made BK walk through without my mom ... what? I can't even begin to explain this.] They are gone. Husband and I leave for work. Not much to say. Sad.

7:55 AM

Scheduled take off.

8:00 AM

I arrive at work – grouchy and, now that the adrenaline is gone, very tired. Did I mention yet, that this all happened on a Monday. Just wrong.

8:15 AM

Logged on to FlightAware and watched the plane climb out and away. [I have never done this before in my life. I'm not sure what possessed me to do it this time.] Got quite a bit of my “Monday work” done while I watched that plane, that lovely little green line, safely move across the country.

9:40 AM

Checked the flight status for the 20th time (they were at 39000 feet and being guided by the folks in Fort Worth) and quietly realized that I’d become a bit obsessed. I mean, really? What would I have done if that little green plane graphic would have disappeared from the screen. Wait. Bad thought. Not good to think of this when the plane is in the air!!!!

The self-talk began again.

It’s just a flight. Do you have any idea how many flights come and go with no problems. You do. I know you do. This is just a flight. People do this all the time. YOU do this. It’s fine. Stop worrying.

10:55 AM

Announced to the coworkers lucky enough to be in my office that my kids were at 700 ft. Sick, I know, but relieved. It was at this moment that I realized that my life had all but stopped for about 2 hours 49 minutes. Stopped for the duration of a flight – for something I had absolutely NO control over.

10:56 AM

Called my dad to tell him to call me when he got them. Made sure that he was going to be there to help.

11:10 AM

The phone rang. Kids were wonderful and were fantastic travelers. “Everyone said so.” They were heading to lunch. Everyone was fine – a little excited and a little tired.

Looking back, the stress I felt during this everyday 2 hour and 49 minute flight is stunning to me. My parents are completely capable of taking care of my kids. Frankly, if they weren’t, there would be no flight. Still, it was somehow very comforting to watch my kids and my mom fly safely across that screen at 39000 feet with a minute-by-minute play-by-play if I’d have wanted it.

And then, somewhere in the echo of all of the relief, I heard the voice of  our Pastor who spoke about faith and expectations on the Sunday just prior to this crazy Monday flight. One where I was reminded that God is in control and that worry doesn’t change a thing … “less worry about the future means more peace in the present.” Coincidental timing? I don’t think so.

They’ve been with their Grandparents for a week now. In that time, Little Man has learned to fish, entered a fishing derby, and caught numerous fish (which he also released). BK has gotten to know her way around and has witnessed her first real fireworks show. They are sharing a room and taking care of each other just as well as my parents are taking care of them.

They are fine. They are alive – I mean really living. They are having the time of their lives and doing things that we simply couldn’t do here at home. Life is good.

They got on that plane … and they’re still flying! We all are.

I'll be hoppin' along now ...

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  • Mrs Soup says:

    That’s a great tradition! Even if it makes you go a little crazy. I’m glad everyone made it safely!
    .-= Mrs Soup´s last blog ..Great Weekend =-.

    • Jen says:

      :) Me too! I spent time with my grandparents each summer when I was a kid and they are some of my fondest memories – and some of my more daring adventures! Gram’s are great for convincing you that you can do anything!

      Craziness is subsiding a bit! It’ll be back in a few! :)

  • Valerie says:

    Wow, what a way to create memories for a lifetime and to build those very special relationship with grandparents. Personally I think that kids desperately need those bonds. I am envious, but not sure I could have ever done that. My kids never knew their paternal grandmom. Both grandpa’s passed away within 2 months of each other when the oldest was 4 and then middle one was 2. My mom passed on 8 years ago, when the oldest was 10, middle was 8 and youngest was 4. I do see some of the influence of my mom on my oldest. They were best buds. She was his confidant. That was so very special. You are so right to know and treasure that blessing.

    • Jen says:

      Valerie, I am so glad that my parents are able to do this (and it will be worse than taking their car keys away when they can’t). I love that they really know their grandparents. I think it’s so important to know where you came from. :)

      When I get nervous or feel like I don’t want to let them go, I keep telling myself that it’s best for them! It works because I really believe that it is the best thing for them.

      Thanks for sharing with me…


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