Moments of Grace · Travel

Above the Atlantic

While I’m traveling, I’ll be posting a few posts at a time, in between internet connections. This one is from the plane, written before landing in London.
It’s only 9:52 PM and I’m exhausted. I wonder why there’s no internet in the air. We should be closer to satellites, shouldn’t we? I had a very lucky day. I woke up early, at 8 AM, after going to bed at 3 AM, and wasn’t tired. My dad was the first person I spoke to.

I had breakfast, and lay in the living room, watching Pepito eat corn kernels while watching me, from across the patio glass door. He was picking kernels one by one, eating them while staring intently at me, and discarding the shells. He likes the white juicy part of the kernel, but no so much the yellow outer ring. So now my balcony is flecked with his discards. But he’s so cute and his tail is so fluffy, and he hunches forward on his little pot belly, resting on his very long back paws. He’s so cute I’ll let him get away with littering.

The finches were singing up a storm. There were five and six of them at a time on the feeder, nibbling at the nyjer seed, surrounded by other types of birds, wanting to join in the excitement, but not finding anything to eat that fit their tastes.

After watching my balcony wildlife, I zipped all my suitcases. I have three. A giant red one, a giant yellow one, and a small striped green and grown carry-on. The AA’s drove me to the airport, and it was a lovely ride and a very short one. I had a very easy time checking in, and made a new friend with the person at the BA counter. We had a great conversation and exchanged travel stories. It was the single best check-in experience I’ve ever had!

As I passed through shoe-removing TSA, a young mother was surrounded by three kids under the age of 6, and four carry-ons, her purse and a stroller. Her hair flew out of her ponytail in wisps, and her cheeks were flushed. Each child was doing his and her own thing, whining in their own way, choosing to remove their shoes and their socks at their own speed. When her two-year old threw a fit because she wanted to keep her socks on, I leaned down and asked her if I could help her. She looked up at me and sighed, looking exhausted and said that if I didn’t mind…it would be helpful. I took a carryon and pretended to be a general, motivating the troops. All three kids lined up behind me like little ducklings towing their cartoon carryons, and we talked about where they were going, Dubai, and the fact their dad had flown to a different place, they each mentioned this about three times. They promised me they were going to be such big kids and help their mom for the entire trip.

We finally got to their gate, possibly the farthest gate from the TSA area, and they plopped down, excited to be there. We all said our goodbyes, and wished each other great exciting adventures. They were really sweet, and I realized how excited I was to be going back home, where people offer their help enthusiastically, and it’s a normal, expected thing. You never let a young mother fend for herself. Never. You never let her stand when you’re sitting, or wait in line if there is one. That was my very very favorite thing about living in Paris. The aggressive politeness with which all French people treat young or expectant mothers. They deservedly get a free pass on everything, and being a part of a culture that is so on board with that always made me feel special.


One thought on “Above the Atlantic

  1. lovely; i remember the crowded trolleys, trams and buses in Ukraine; nightmares; but if there was a child and a mother; everyone hopped up to give them the seat; yes,

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