Years ago I had a little bet with my husband: not a real bet, but an “incentive bet” because as a new mom there was a lot of pressure in all directions to nurse or not nurse your babies and I wasn’t sure exactly what I really wanted to do. So I declared that if I nursed the babies for a year I would get a trip somewhere in the world; a solo flight. And that was enough incentive to make this decision more of a game than something I could fail or feel bad about. If I didn’t do it, I just missed on a trip that may or may not actually pan out but if I did, I might get something pretty awesome.
So last week all my boys dropped me off at the airport. There were tears (on my end), and lots of hugs and we managed to get me on my way to Paris to see my bestie S and her hubby so I could catch up, eat dessert and see beautiful things for 3 glorious days. It was such a really weird feeling to be at the airport with just my own bags, and my own needs with no one else who had to pee, or need their trunki carried. In all that hustle and bustle of the airport, I couldn’t believe the silence around me or how alone (and free!!!) I felt.
As all things go, the journey is sometimes just as interesting as the destination so I will share the details of my first plane ride with you: I had noticed two little boys dressed like twins in some kind of boy scout looking outfit with their mother. Of course I was seated next to them on the plane. And then their mother went away for a little bit and I was left with the two guys alone and they started wrestling and I had no idea what to do. Thankfully the mom returned, but this time she had another kid-a toddler with her and I tried talking to her a little bit but she didn’t speak English, so we just gave up and smiled. Then there were 5 of us sitting in a row of four. Things were going well but then my video player suddenly stopped working mid-movie and began an interesting cycle of two black screens and a brilliantly white screen that flashed. I wasn’t really into the movie anyway so I thought I’d turn on my overhead light and read. But then that wasn’t working and neither was the call button. So I began to read a lovely book called Paris in Love on my Ipad because thankfully it has a built in light. The book was pretty neat: it had a lot of Paris highlights in it, so I was able to bookmark them for things for us to do because I hadn’t really thought of what I wanted to see on this trip anyways. I was immersed in this novel until I felt something crawling up my leg. The mother had fallen asleep and the little toddler boy decided to pay me a visit. Again, I wasn’t really sure what to do and the whole trip was becoming a little hilarious. I thought if I pretended to go to sleep the little boy might go away, so I closed my eyes. But it wasn’t totally dark. The flashing screen thing was very noticeable when you have your eyes closed and are pretending to sleep with a child climbing up your leg. And the lady in the window seats across from me had decided to be the one person on the plane to leave her window open a crack, which was fine, except for it was reflecting off her husbands book and directly into my (squeezed-closed) eyes. And it was then, I overheard the most fantastic conversation-two seatmates were getting to know each other:
“Oh, so you play music? Are you in a group of some sort?”
“Yes, I’m in a band.”
“Oh, maybe I’ve heard of it?”
“Its called the Shins.”
“Sorry, no I haven’t”
But I have. And it made the whole experience utterly hilarious. Kids kicking seats and squealing beside me. Movie screens flashing (yes screens: by the end of the flight our whole row had a video-malfunction). Bright lights reflecting during a 9-hour flight. And now a celebrity behind me to top it all off. I was alone and headed to Paris and I couldn’t have imagined a more deliciously interesting flight.