I have always hated flying. Always had an unreasonable fear of getting on an airplane. But it has gotten exponentially worse since I’ve become a mom. Now, I’m insanely afraid of flying.
I write this, on a plane, with my 12-year-old son to my left and my husband on my right. My two young daughters are at home. On land. Sturdy land.
We decided to take Cameron to DC over Spring Break. He’s a really smart kid and we thought he’d love the history and the monuments and time alone with Mommy and Daddy.
We were right.
But, I can sit here, 35,000 feet above land and promise you I will not get on another plane until my children are much older. I can’t take the risk of leaving my daughters without a mom.
I know, I know… Flying is THE safest way to travel. I’m like a trillion times more likely to die driving to work each morning down I-75. I’m more likely to win the Lotto, TWICE, than get in a plane crash.
I don’t care.
It doesn’t matter.
What matters to me, is that I made the conscious decision to get on a big machine, with trillions of parts that could fail, piloted by a couple people I’ve never met, and have complete trust that they will fly me tens of thousands of feet above land, sturdy land, to my destination.
I made the decision to do this, knowing my two little girls, who need their mommy, are at home.
I will not do it again.
But, I know many of you will disagree with this. However, I think getting on an airplane is one of the most selfish things a parent can do. Flying is unnatural. If I get in a car crash, chances are, I won’t die. I can walk away. If I’m on a boat and there’s a crash, I know how to swim.
Guess what? I don’t know how to fly.
Now, the memories that my husband, son and I made on this trip will be something we remember for the rest of our lives. And spending time ALONE with my oldest child (something that we don’t get to do very often) is beyond special.
But the anxiety leading up to this trip was crippling. All I could think about was never seeing my daughters graduate high school, or walk down the aisle. I was unsure about getting on the plane until the moment we left for the airport. Probably even after that. Until my husband got me drunk. I even left a “goodbye letter” on the dresser back at the house.
It’s not worth it.
Amazingly, and blessedly, my fear has not transferred onto my children. My son is sitting here snapping pictures from the window. I think he whispered something to me about seeing the Capitol during takeoff. (I wouldn’t know, since I lean over, saying the Lord’s Prayer repeatedly with my hands covering my ears). And my daughters were very jealous that we were getting on a plane and they weren’t.
I PRAY they steer clear of this fear. Because it is paralyzing. And real. And, not worth the risk. Becoming a mom has changed a lot of the ways I live my life… and this is just another one.
No more flying for this mommy until my kids are self-sufficient (and knowing my middle child, that could be DECADES!).
Until then I will remain on land. Sturdy land.