Growing up, my family took a handful of vacations by car. I can recall driving from the Midwest to
Pennsylvania one summer and Florida—to go to Walt
Disney World, another summer. Some trips
were just a few hours away such as Kansas City, St. Louis, or Chicago. While I only can recall bits of the memory, I’m
told I flew with my uncle to New
Jersey to visit cousins when I was 4. It wasn’t until I reached high school that I
flew again and haven’t stopped flying since!
On one of those high school flights, I noticed a family—mom, dad, small children. . . boys I think—dressed neatly and comfortably. They seemed like such a cohesive unit from an onlooker’s perspective. I remember wanting to be like that when I grew up. I wanted a family like that; a family that traveled together.. That memory has stuck with me for a long time; for years. That mental picture hanging on the memory walls guiding goals and wishes, so clear I could tell you which side of the plane the family was sitting on.
Well, on the flight home from our last trip, it dawned on me. We are THAT family.
It first hit me when we boarded our nonstop flight after a delay at the gate that included changing planes due to an electrical problem. No problem. The plane got exchanged and we boarded soon thereafter. Then, once loaded, the plane backed away from the gate, only to return minutes later with an announcement that there were still problems. The feeling on the plane changed from one of expectancy to one of anxiety. Cell phones were being powered on and not-so-hushed conversations were taking place throughout the aircraft. Except our row, well, at least our side of the row.
We were fine. The husband had a worried tone and I reminded him that we had everything we needed right there. I then whipped out one of the two tubs of snacks from our bag, put down the tray table, and proceeded to enjoy the happenings of both passengers and crew. The boy was immersed in a handheld game. He was aware of the situation and I like to think that my calm handling of the situation helped him to relax. Truly, we did have everything we needed; each other.
There was no one we needed to contact about picking us up at the airport. We were flying home on a Saturday and didn’t have to be at work until Mohday, so there wasn’t a time crunch. Our pets were being taken care of and the weather was spring like both in
Orlando and at home. Our luggage was checked. We had necessary items with us on the
plane. No worries.
We did eventually take off and we’re an hour late reaching our final destination. What troubled me the most was thinking of the passengers waiting at the airport for the plane that would take them to
Orlando. Their vacations were going to be delayed!
Yet the whole experience brought back the memories of the flight with that family that I so wanted to be like and I was able to have that realization that my family, the three of us, are now THAT family!