Flying Away

I’m writing this from roughly 30K feet over Dallas. I habitually mis-remember this flight to LA to take six hours. I get all worked up about the claustrophobia of it all, and am then relieved when I board and see that it’s just under five. Then after a few hours I am again distressed when I realize that just under five is also too long to sit in this tiny chair, surrounded by strangers. I’m only 5’2″, so the normal amount of space is really fine for me. Until the person in front of me reclines, and then I go from zero-buried alive! buried alive! The best plane trick I know is to finagle for the exit row. The seats in front can’t recline. God bless.

This is a long one for me, Sunday-Thursday. I always tend to get a little blue and anxious when I know I have to leave the boys. It comes to a head the night before for me, and I wake up repeatedly to stroke their little sleeping faces. It comes to a head for Alden when I actually leave. The whole family drove me to the airport this morning and Alden said, “Mommy, I think I’m going to cry.” So much more piercing than if he’d just wailed. Elliot doesn’t really get what’s going on and will randomly look for me until I turn up again. The good news: Damon has this down cold. The other good news: As soon as we actually split, I feel better. Now I’m counting down to getting back to them instead of counting down to leaving.

It’s probably all a little too much drama. I’m going to go stay in a nice hotel and do interesting and useful work. The boys will be indulged more than usual (which is already a lot) and I’ll return bearing gifts. That last part is new. I was flailing around trying to make Alden feel better and I threw out an offer to bring him a present. (Way to teach him to mask his feelings with commercial goods! Buying things make you happy!) He was ready for me, though, and asked for “…a chocolate rabbit. A big one.” Elliot piped up that he’d be happy to have a toy train, so now I have my marching orders.

I’ve also started a new work travel tradition, which is that the boys’ toys have taken to hitching rides with me. Last trip to NY, a tiny stuffed Grover came long and I texted back pictures of him accompanying me on my rounds. This time it’s a bathtub Grumpy. So far Grumpy isn’t impressed, but what can I expect?

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