This story is only a few weeks old. I haven’t told it here yet. The only other thing I have to write about this week is sad. I’ll probably get to it soon, but for now…enjoy.
I was on the 6:25am flight from San Antonio to Minneapolis. I’d been up since 3:20am, my brain too fidgety to let me sleep any longer. The kids and I waited in line after line and were finally on the airplane. When I purchased our tickets, the only way to have seats near one another was to put Aidan & Neely in the row in front of me. I had the window seat. It wasn’t the most ideal scenario, but I figured we’d make it work.
I waited to see who claimed the seat across the aisle from them, intending to ask to trade. When a large, tall man sat down, I knew it was pointless even to ask. He wouldn’t want my window seat. I settled in for the ride.
A short while later, my seat buddy showed up. He was a little guy, nine years old, whose mother has apparently never taught him “stranger danger.” (Maybe that’s unfair. Maybe he just didn’t listen.) First, he told me about the tablet he got for Christmas, and had I ever seen the one that says “R-C-A?” Second, he told me, as I stared in horror, about how he sometimes gets sick on airplanes and this one time when he was four he barfed ALL OVER THE FLOOR but it’s ok because he took Dramamine today, and by the way do I know about the Skylander called Cynder?
I like kids. I do. But if I’ve got to deal with a kid getting sick on an airplane, that little puker had better belong to me.
I did a mental checklist of what I had packed in my carry-on. Extra clothes? Nope. I figured I might be purchasing whatever the heck I could find in the Minneapolis airport, and it would probably have a moose on it. Or a Viking.
Grandma and big sister were on the other side of the aisle. If you know you’ve got a kid that might blow mid-flight, do you sit with him? Or put him by a stranger? I seriously could not understand what was happening. I tried for the whole flight to make eye contact with Grandma. Do you know when she met my eye for the first time? When the damn airplane landed. After I’d had my ear talked off for two hours. Thankfully, nobody vomited.
I did manage about a 30-minute nap somewhere in there, grabbing my pillow and screwing my eyes shut the one time the little guy turned his attention from me, but the moment I stirred, he picked up right where he left off. I learned so much. He’s from Pennsylvania. He’s a big brother AND a little brother. His dad lives in Texas. His little brother lives in Texas. His sister is two years older than him. He loves Skylanders. Some of them live in his room, and he’s trained them to be nice. Sometimes, the new ones aren’t nice, and it’s scary. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could build ladders into the clouds? Then, you could probably find a really nice, comfy spot to sit and read in the clouds. Wouldn’t that be nice? He bets clouds are really soft, and maybe bouncy. He really likes the window seat, but it wouldn’t be a good idea to trade with me, because he needs to stay by his family. It’s safer that way. He really likes the tablet he got for Christmas. It has a lot of apps. Do I want to see? Do I have a lot of apps on my tablet? Why don’t I have games? Are those your kids? How old are your kids? What grade are they in? Where do you live? Do you know where (random town in Pennsylvania) is? There’s a new MOD on Minecraft. Want to guess what it has? They have big ears and can jump really high. Can you guess? Do you like Minecraft?
By the time the Minecraft conversation started, we’d finally landed. Of course, Aidan began to chime in, and I realized I should have traded seats with my own son. I’m an idiot.