Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Friendly Skies

Pictures are on their way. The flight was great. Froggy was an angel and at least five people on the plane told us what a good kid she is, and smart taboot. If that sounds like bragging, I am. I was soooo proud of her. She sat (yes Froggy) SAT on my lap the entire flight, contently, while we read the same four stories over and over and over again. I think we'll be putting "Baby Barnyard" away for the next couple years. If I have to quack like a duck or moo like a cow one more time, my brain will officially dissolve into mommy mush.

Froggy counted to five for the nice German woman sitting next to us, who happened to be a kindergarten teacher (how lucky are we!), and she loved the tattoos on the guy to our left, who was in the army, returning to his post in Frankfurt. Our connecting city was Chicago, so there were a lot of internationally bound passengers. Ohhhh so jealous!

Before the babe, I loved flying. It was five hours of uninterrupted reading and writing. No phone calls, no cleaning, no conversation. But with a kid I'm forced to interact with my fellow passengers, mostly apologizing for dropping an apple juice in their lap, or asking them to kindly retrieve a pacifier that happened to role all the way down the aisle. With a toddler, no matter what, you have to acknowledge the fact that you're part of this world. Forget escaping into a juicy novel with people much more beautiful and rich, or writing that screenplay, nope you're a mom on a plane, desperately waiting for that seatbelt sign to go off so you can change the leaky diaper that just saturated your pants. It's real life at its finest.

I thought I would miss my book, or writing pad, but it was really wonderful talking to complete strangers for four hours. I learned a lot. We discussed health care in Germany, the army, tattoos, kids, wives, boyfriends, Los Angeles, family, flying, traveling, customs, basically everything except politics and religion. It reminded me how important it is to connect with people from other places and other ways of life. I didn't get to escape, but I did get to live the experience of traveling with a great kid. And as nice as it was to talk with strangers, it was even better touching down in a place where everyone feels like family.


DutchMac said...

Oh, how I hear you on this one! Nothing says 'interaction' like travelling with a young one. Little Cub and I will be making the journey back to The Motherland this Christmas all by ourselves. SEVENTEEN HOURS door-to-door of non-stop Mama and Cub quality time. I can't wait.

It's time like that I appreciate the sanctity of the kindness of strangers, and the strength of Medised (the UK's version of Tylenol PM for kids). I don't give him sugar, but OTC sleeping drugs are this mother's Godsend for international travelling!

Have a wonderful time at 'home', and enjoy a funnel cake at the Fair for me.


Anonymous said...

what a great way of looking at it. i wish i had read this post before my trip last night (5 hours with my 2 year old). jcn