When our babies were small, my sister and I never flew anywhere together.
There was a good reason for this. We were each other’s back up in the event that one of us didn’t survive those years of child-rearing. We had enough of our grandmother’s fear of flying in us not to tempt fate. And so, during those years my sister flew, and I flew, but we never flew together.
The only exception was in 1993 when we left our two toddler sons with their fathers and boarded a flight to Korea to bring my daughter home. We decided that the Good Lord would not send the two of us on such an important mission only to let the plane crash on the way.
I am the queen of magical thinking when it comes to airplanes. During take-offs, for example, I revert back to my Catholic upbringing and imagine an army of really strong angels lifting the plane off the ground. During landings, I imagine the plane floating like a paper airplane toward Earth until it magically finds the sweet spot where it is supposed to land.
This type of delusional…er…magical thinking is what has allowed me, through the years, to travel by air. It’s why, whenever one of my kids is on a plane, I need them to let me know when they’re about to take off. If I don’t text “safe travels” to my daughter every time, how will the angels know when to spring into action? And so, I do. Every time.
Well all have our rituals. I have learned not to mess with what works.
I know mothers who are perfectly content miles above the ground. I have noticed them during turbulence. They do not even bother to look up from their magazines! I am in awe of those types of mothers. They go with the flow, and do not worry about what they cannot control. Moms who feel no need to pester angels about airplanes or anything else, where their grown children are concerned.
I am not one of them. I need those angels.
Just ask my children.