It is a completely different experience traveling without the boys. I sat in the sixth row on both flights, a luxury saved for the people who don’t have children. How nice to not have to inhale the bathroom fumes. Maybe I should tell the airlines that once children are four and older they can actually be pleasant to sit near. No doubt, they are a whole lot more enjoyable than sitting next to an enormous, smelly adult whose sweaty arm keeps rubbing against you.
Moving up in the plane does not, however, change your status. The snotty, lazy stewardesses still treat you like a low life economy passenger. I have grown to really despise them as they role their eyes at you for making any request. I especially love it when I order my special drink that I, for some odd reason, only order on airplanes. “I’ll have a cranberry juice with seltzer water and no ice”, I order. With complete annoyance they hand me a plastic cup with ice and two cans, one of seltzer and one of cranberry juice. I wait until they get it right which inevitably starts a war. Ok, maybe I’m partially at fault.
When we arrived into Philadelphia I asked the stewardess if she could please hold up the passengers departing the plane, so that I could get my bag in the overhead department and make my flight, which was in a different, far away, terminal and departing in fifteen minutes. She told me to just muscle my way back to the bag amidst the upstream traffic. “I’m confused”, I said. “I thought your job was to help people”. She responded by telling me that she was helping me by telling me what to do. I did as she recommended by putting out my horns and charging my way back to my bag, bumping into anybody who didn’t get out of my way. I was no way in hell going to hang out any longer than I needed to in the Philadelphia airport. Puffing heavily through my nose, as usual, I got my bag and exited quickly giving the matador the dirty eye. Ole!
As I ran to my next flight, I decided that I would try to avoid ever flying through Philadelphia again. It was a depressing, dirty, crowded airport. I caught my plane and proceeded to sit on the runway for another two hours while waiting for the other planes before us to take off. The stewardess informed us that this was a common occurrence in Phillie, thus reaffirming my desire to stay away in the future.
We descended into another dark turbulent sky and as the landing gear clunked down, the older German woman sitting next to me said, “I sink zer are maintenance issues vis dis plane.”
Driving back on highway 91 brought back a flood of memories from my childhood. It saddened me that my home that I grew up in was gone and now my mother’s new home as well. I would never enjoy those warm summer June evenings again as I did when I was a child. The lush and abundant trees alongside the highway had not been cut down for development and it was all so green. We watched as the last colors of the day set behind the hills and listened to the frogs croaking away, or at least I knew they were frogs, my mother thought that they were late night geese croaking, she and Wade constantly surprise me when it comes to naming the creatures in nature.
Tomorrow I will put on my Superhero cape, inhale a lot of Advil and get to work. I hope that I do not plunge into a depression while, once again, packing up my mother’s belongings. I can only hope that her new home will be as beautiful and peaceful as it is here. There is still so much to do before she closes on Friday and I am glad that I am here for her. I must remain strong, after all, that is what daughters are for. To show our love in any way that we can and help our parents when they need us.