DIA Gate C40, the blond in front of me is on her cell phone discussing how the speeding ticket she got on airport property is her father’s fault. Evidently speeding to an airport terminal is the same as speeding to a ER with an injured friend in your car. Traveling for her is obviously an emergency situation. National Security is at level Orange. Someone tried to blow up…or blew up….a military recruiting center. Or something like that. Men read newspapers around, a young man texts his girl friend assuring her he will be returning to her soon. The women behind the check in counter talk of missing pink tags for gate checked items. A woman needs one for her stroller. Her little red headed toddler is wandering away. I sit here wondering if a trip home for a few days is worth a trip away from my girls. Having been a business traveler for years and married to a man that works 1500 miles away, you’d think I’d be quite used to flying or the act of flying. Because of the 28 pound three year old I left crying in my car and the 18 pound toddler that refused to give me a hug because I wouldn’t take her out of the car when we arrived at the airport, I am feeling incredibly nervous. This break with my family will be so good for me, but it’s amazing how such little people can affect me so much. There was a man in front of me checking in that had what looked like brand new ski boots and a brand new ski bag for some really long skis. To profile him, I’d first say he didn’t appear to be a Colorado skier. Baggy pants with frayed cuffs and an expensive phone/PDA that kept beeping in his pocket. Every few seconds he brought it out, looked at it, every so often he’d text something back to whomever was so eager on the other end. Something told me it wasn’t a girlfriend that needed reassurance. Nor do I believe it was a ski bunny he met on the slops that felt the need to say good-bye, it was great getting to know you, several times. He doesn’t appear to me on my flight….at least I don’t see him near by texting the unknown. So I sit here nerves hitting a place in my heart that is reserved for my children. It’s a place where we sit and play circus games with Zoe’s Little People. A place where we read special books and cuddle after a long day. I don’t want these nerves in that special place. I want to be with my children. Cuddling because it’s not a special time, but because we can.
There is a toddler crying nearby. Unlike the other passengers in the waiting area, I hope she sits near me. I’d like to tell her that I have two very special little girls at home waiting for Monday to return when Mommy comes home from Virginia. Arwen asked me today where I work. One can only assume she is asking because she thinks I am going to work like Daddy does each week. I told her I work at home. I do dishes. I clean, I take her to school, I wash her laundry and make sure she’s not sleeping with too many dust bunnies or bed bugs, though she thinks it might be fun to sleep with a dust bunny. Goon Goon, is a dirty bunny, after all, do a dust bunny can’t be too different. And bed bugs sound kind of fun if you are three. They are probably like the little bugs on the show “World Word” with bright colors and the word BUG spelled out across their little bug bodies. After I explained all the work I do from home, I told her I am going to Virginia. She knows Grandpop lives in Virginia, but I’m not sure she knows I am going to Grandpop’s house in Virginia. I’m not sure can put those two together and I didn’t want her to think I was visiting Grandpop without her. But I am!
I know once I get to VA, I will feel so much better and I will miss my family when I leave, but I think I will not be as nervous to fly again because I will be coming home. It’s only a break for a few days, but it’s the first time I’ll be away from my kids for more that a few hours. They have been left in great hands; my husbands’s. I can understand in moment like this why so many reach to a high power. I’ve not felt nerves like this in years. The beautiful Italian woman near me is holding a beautiful rosary. I’m not Catholic. Nor is that a church I could ever affiliate myself with, however, it’s a beautiful rosary. And she is finding some comfort in holding it. Maybe it’s not the rosary itself, but the silent prayer she is saying while gently moving her mouth; speaking to someone at the other end of the rosary. Maybe it’s the same person on the other end of ski-man’s texts. Who knows. Me, I find comfort in writing this. In letting you know I am fearful. Of ski-man. Of not seeing my girls again. Of seeing change in a place I found comfort in for many years; because life changes everything. Trees grow, weeds overgrow, and life moves in place.
Made it to Cincinnati. Rode with a man that is at least five hundred pounds. At least he had to buy two seats, so there was a little room between us. I fell asleep on the runway while we taxied before take off. He coughed and cleared his throat. It was the sound that could only come from a man five hundred pounds. My book flew up in the air, the woman behind me laughed at me and I said, “Man, I can’t believe I was asleep already.” Note to self. When sleep deprived and sleep is elusive, Tylenol Pm is your friend at home, but an easier though expensive solution would be to get on an airplane. The drone of the engines will knock my ass out in a second or two.
Made it to Colorado. Sat next to a German man that was coming into Richmond for “Beezznuss.” He wanted to talk the whole flight, but didn’t know English very well. After telling my sister this, her idea was to start clucking at him like I am from some weird tribe. Wish I had thought of that while on the flight. But here I am in Virginia. It’s raining and about forty fie degrees. I miss my girls….