I am sitting on the first leg of the return flight home from Portland. It is the day after Thanksgiving, and the plane is not too full. I am in the middle seat, and in the window seat next to me is a woman with a small child on her lap. (G is on the other side of me.)
I thought you had to buy a seat for kids on planes now, but apparently the rule is if they’re under 2, they can sit on your lap. (Bad rule.)
I would bet this little girl is very close to 2. I would even bet good money that tomorrow is her birthday.
She’s sucking on a pacifier and playing with a pink plastic toy cell phone. The mother has the window flap down all the way, hoping, I think, that she might fall asleep.
This kid is not going to fall asleep.
I say this with complete confidence because this kid is sitting NEXT TO ME.
And not only is she not going to fall asleep, she’s going to wriggle and fuss and climb on the seat back in front of her and kick me and jostle my tray table and let out periodic whoops and rip up the Sky Mall magazine all the way to Minneapolis.
And that’s okay. It really is.
Because the sky is clear and blue, and the flights are all on time and my daughter is beautiful and happy and she loves her husband and he is darling and loves her back and they have a great life.
(Not to mention a Chihuahua.)
It’s better than okay because we will be home by 11 PM tonight, and even though it will have been a long day of flying, it’s only long because we are flying east and picking up an extra 3 hours along the way because of the time zone change.
Right before I left I read a great book, whose exact title escapes me at the moment, but it was about how new ideas are generated. This is the line that I keep thinking about:
“If you always go the same places, you’ll always see the same things.”
That’s why it’s good to fly to Portland for Thanksgiving or go to India just because you’ve never been, or to Chile on business (Hi, Tim!) or just take a completely different route to work.
Because you might see new things, and those new things will create new synapses in your brain and those synapses will generate new thoughts, which will, in turn, enhance your experience of the circus of life.
Oh, and and guess what?
In the time it’s taken me to compose this post, the little girl next to me is asleep in her mother’s arms.
It’s all good.