Today, Ellison boards her first plane. Not sure what to expect except that I’ve always been on the other side of the equation. Flying alone, usually, not wanting anyone to sit next to me…especially an infant or pouty toddler. When I last flew a few weeks ago, I saw an infant on the plane screaming his head off about ten rows up to which the young lady sitting next to me offered, “Oh God. If that kid was sitting next to me, I’d kill myself. Like, seriously, I’d find a way to kill myself.”
I gave her a less-than-warm chuckle just to be polite and returned, “Yeah, no worse than some of the gabbing adults I’ve sat next to.”
I looked at that screaming kid and smiled pleasantly. It’s a lot easier to sympathize when you’ve been there. Watching those two parents manically trying to calm this baby down while he’s flailing about, employing countless of failing techniques, I thought about what my lovely wife and I have been through. It happens fast. Sometimes you think it’ll never end, but it does. Then it’s like it never happened. We had our battles with Ellison as a little one and I have no doubt that air travel’s gonna be challenging today. I’m not trying to sugarcoat it, but it’s kinda like riding a bike. Loosen up. Relax. Laugh. Enjoy it. When you’re not so tense or uptight, things roll smoother and, when you fall, it doesn’t hurt quite as bad. It’s like soft hands on a wide receiver. You gotta give a little. Be a cushion. Not a slab of concrete.
Four-hour layover in Vegas. At least there’s tons of pretty slot machines for Ellison to marvel at.