Saturday, April 7, 2012

Flying The Friendly Skies

7 April 2012

I have been asked many times in the last few weeks if Last Night I Swam With a
Mermaid began with a dream. In my world everything begins with a dream. It is a
fact that dreaming is the main function of the brain. Our minds dream 24 hours a
day… the only difference between what we dream in the day and what we dream at
night is somewhat linear… merely a matter of perception.

Right now, I am sitting aboard Delta flight 36, looking out the window at the
marshmallow clouds that always look so inviting. I laugh to myself reliving the
past few hours I have floated within a daydream state. From the moment I stepped
foot on the sidewalk for curb check in at LAX with my three little girls in tow, I
was greeted with comments from travelers of all ages, “How do you do it,” “Boy
u certainly have your hands full,” and the multiple, “Good Lucks.” I am quickly
reminded that everything in life… like dreams is viewed from ones own perception.

This past September I traveled alone to Paris for the first time in years and the
entire time felt as if I had forgotten something. The things I was constantly checking
for were right here with me this trip… three kids… all their belongings… ET voila I
am transformed into a Sherpa.

The pre meditated organized packing (bring only what you can carry) went right out
the window the minute we entered the airport and I was met with… “My feet hurt”
“I’m tired”, “It’s too heavy”… “Can we go to the toy store?” When I explained we
could not add toys to the bags that they complained they could not carry, the bags
magically became light as a feather and their tiny feet scurried through the terminal.
At the security line, I was met with visions of terrorists dressed as kids as they no
longer have to remove their shoes… sometimes my daydreams turn to nightmares (I
have a vivid imagination).

Strangers offered help as they watched me managing my girls. A grandfather
comments, “I’ve got four grandkids, and you make it look so easy.” Perhaps if my
kids were unruly the offers of help would be null and void. Content with Barbie
coloring books my children are a shining example of experienced travelers and very
well behaved. As much as I like to say bribery will get me nowhere… in this case
bribery has gotten me everywhere.

Until one of my four year olds who thinks its fun to hide, does so as I am going to the
loo. Thankfully another kind stranger waits for me, as she knows where my child
is hiding, and being a mom herself knows I will be worried when coming out that
my kid is nowhere to be found. The kind woman points to where she is hysterically
laughing to herself as she hides behind a trashcan. The same woman offered her
experience, “this is exactly why I leave my children at home, too hard to take them

I can’t help but think about the fact that people simply don’t take their kids along

because it’s easier? To me that’s not living, sure it’s challenging and there are
ups and downs and a lot of creative manipulation traveling with my three girls. I
wouldn’t trade it for anything as I sit watching them quiet, happy on an Ipad (thank
you Steve Jobs). I am so grateful for these opportunities and that I am able to share
these experiences with my family.

I feel that same sense of freedom I have always experienced while flying. The same
freedom I felt when I was a single chick traveling the world, I feel today with my
three little chicks in tow… ready for a new adventure. This is what life is all about…
soaring to new heights. I am living the dream.