Thursday, July 23, 2009
When Bob was nine months old he and I traveled to Berlin to meet up with Jeff who was on tour with his band. I had already flown many times before with Bob, but never without another grown-up in our travel party. I had booked us on a red-eye, the idea being that we would get on the plane close to Bob’s bedtime and that we could both sleep for most of the 10½ hour first leg of our trip – the flight from Los Angeles to Paris. That is not what happened.
If you have ever had the pleasure of flying in the same plane with a small child and you have an excruciating story to tell of the noise and ad hoc airplane specific hell raised by that tiny being, you may have been on our flight. I’ll spare you the details but know that when we landed in France, I called Jeff to tell him that we would be moving to Paris because I refused to ever board a plane again.
There were two subsequent flights in that particular itinerary. Neither was as bad as the first but that is not saying much since the terror of flight number one could have only been eclipsed by an emergency crash landing. Maybe.
That was the last time I flew with Bob.
Tomorrow we are booked on a flight to Portland. We are headed to Oregon to attend a wedding. There are many things working in our favor. Jeff will be with us this time. Bob is excited about the trip. We have books and toys and snacks and a CARES Harness. The flight is relatively short at just under two hours. All good. Piece of cake. Sweet, sweet panicky cake.
I am trying to ignore the teensy, little, anxious, post-traumatic stress disordered piece of my soul that will forever be circling the Charles de Gaulle airport. Bob is a year and a half older but he is also a year and a half louder.
If you are currently booked on American Airlines Flight 7582 BUR to PDX, you might consider making other arrangements.