I fly to Texas on Wednesday.
I do not like to fly.
I especially do not like to fly with children.
But flying in general makes me nervous. If the plane so much as gives a funny lurch then I’m positive we’re all going to die. I grip the armrests until my knuckles turn white and I’ve been asked more times than I care to count by other passengers if I’m okay.
“You look terrified, dear,” an elderly woman once said to me.
Well. That’s probably because I AM.
My heart immediately starts to race the second I step onboard the aircraft and am hit with the familiar airplane scent of recycled air. That alone can send me into a panic attack.
It doesn’t help when I read stories about plane crashes. When I heard about the Air France flight that went missing I started to chew on my nails in fear. At first I had hope that perhaps the aircraft went to an island like the one on Lost. But then pieces of the plane were found in the ocean followed by bodies—and I crossed myself even though I’m not Catholic and muttered something like, “Sweet Jesus.”
Then I read about a Continental flight this morning where the pilot ended up dying so the co-pilot had to take over.
So…not only do I have to worry about the plane crashing, I also have to worry about the health of the pilot. I think when I board the plane on Wednesday I’m going to take a good look at the pilot and ask point blank how his ticker is working and does he think he’s healthy enough to fly? If he gives a funny cough I’m going to be tempted to turn on my heel and walk off.
Flying with children just adds to my stress. I have a backpack stuffed with small toys that I’ve picked up that will hopefully distract them. I have a portable DVD player that is all ready to go. I think everything will be okay. I think….
Oh my God, I just have a feeling that my kids are going to turn into monsters. This is the first time that I’m flying ON MY OWN without any help. They sense fear just like dogs. They latch onto any sort of weakness. I’m tempted to pick up harnesses but then I picture myself being dragged down the terminal at top speed.
What if I have to use the bathroom? I suppose I have to lug everything in the stall with me along with my two kids. I can’t very well leave my seven-year-old by himself at a busy airport.
I’ll just have to take it easy on the liquids. Because going to the bathroom on the airplane will just be out of the question.
What if both of the kids take off in opposite directions? Who do I chase first? Do I leave all our stuff just sitting there? But…that’s not allowed these days at the airport. The announcement that sounds overhead every five minutes specifically says that if luggage is abandoned, that it will be destroyed. I can’t have my luggage destroyed! There are adorable Gymboree outfits in there! Oh, and my stuff too.
If we go through turbulence on the airplane I’ll have to pretend like everything is okay.
“It’s perfectly normal,” I’ll tell my kids in a fake voice even though what I’ll really want to do is curl up in a ball and pop a Xanax in my mouth.
Everything is going to be okay.
That’s my mantra. That’s what I keep telling myself when I feel another wave of hysteria coming on.
I can do this.
I’m a grown adult for heavens sake.
If I can survive birthing and breastfeeding two children then surely I can handle a silly little plane ride.