Summer was here before we knew it! I had planned way back in October to take the family on a trip. We quarreled about where we were going to go. Half of us wanted NYC, the other half wanted a cruise. I compromised, because leaving half of us unhappy meant a 50% chance I'd have to hear about it. We flew to NYC, spent a couple of days, boarded a boat to Canada for four days, then went back to NYC for another five days. Despite my efforts to make everyone happy, I still heard the grumblings from my youngest son who said he wanted to go to Mexico, not Canada. Yes, I tried to explain that Mexico wasn't possible from NYC in the time we needed, and we were still doing something he wanted to do, but he wasn't having it. Once in the city, I gave up talking him into enjoying the sights and sounds of NYC and let him spend as much time as he wanted in the hotel room and NOT in the Big Apple. Fine with me--one less child to please and spend oodles of money on!
Before we go into the trip itself, let's get off the ground and into JFK. Kindsay has been on a plane before. We took the family to Hawaii a few years ago and flew without incident. Not one of the four kids said "BOO" about it. For some reason this time I had two unsettled kiddies. My youngest son, Ty, and Kindsay were not happy about getting on a plane. Ty managed the anxiety well. He'd try me out a few days prior by saying he wasn't going at all, and that netted him a bunch of havoc from me, so he dropped it. Kindsay, however, didn't fuss until we were on the plane. Here we are aboard a 767 jet with over a hundred people and almost six hours of flying ahead of us. We've got Kindsay clutching Greg and me, her arms are across the aisle holding onto Greg while I sat beside her holding her left hand. Instead of watching a movie on the screen in front of her, like we all did to distract us and pass the time easily, she watched the flight plan the entire time. She watched the little plane on the screen cross the country over the course of six hours. Yes, the entire six hours we watched the plane travel in small dots with updates about speed and elevation. We left at noon so it wasn't like bed time or anything, and even then she wouldn't have slept. She kept rocking back and forth, making her squealing noises every now and then, and held our hands with sweaty, nervous palms. She'd comment every few minutes about the plane, "Mom--is it going high? Is this how fast it is? Is the plane moving? Are we close?" No Kindsay, we still have five hours and twenty minutes! And then her bathroom breaks were more often, every twenty minutes or so. I kept trying to keep her calm because she didn't care who heard her when she would get anxious. I thought, If someone were on this plane and super nervous about flying and heard Kindsay talking about 'going down'...they'll lose their cool and jump up screaming for the door.
My sister has done that before on a flight, so I know it can happen.
It went okay until landing. She could feel the landing gear setting itself in position to land. Kindsay grabbed us and leaned way over as though it were her body keeping the plane balanced. She squealed and started panicking in louder and louder volumes so that I had to shush her more and more, to no effect. I know people were looking and wondering what this full grown woman (Kindsay is 18 years old and a few inches shy of six feet tall) was doing sprawled across the aisle, bent in half, shrieking as though the Wright brothers were conducting their maiden voyage with her in row 33. When the plane hit the runway, she jolted and shrieked again then called out, "I am not flying home. I am taking the train. This is my last trip. I am staying with Grandma next time!" I was thrilled to see the beautiful city lights of New York out the window, but mostly to know that Kindsay knew she was on the ground and that would be the end of it...for ten days at least. Alas, not to worry, Kindsay reminded me every day after that how she is taking the train and staying with Grandma next time. It really made me look forward to breaking the news to her that she was indeed flying home...but staying with Grandma next time? Done!