For the first time in 7 years, I am flying on a plane without a child.
If you have never flown with little kids before, let me assure you, the experience of flying with and flying without them is night-and-day. Flying with little kids requires a lot of physical strength and stamina as well as mental acuity and patience. For safety, tiny kids must fly with a carseat, which I must lug throughout the airport while I either carry my child or walk very slowly with them. During the flight, I must be aware of their comfort, make sure they have activities and snacks, and make sure they aren’t driving the people in the seats near them crazy with the kicking of the seats or the loud complaining. There isn’t much time to relax and enjoy the flight at this point.
Of course, the flights have gotten better and better as the kids have grown. But still, the opportunity to travel without them is really a treat. For example, we are going on a Hawaii trip next month as my husband is traveling for a conference. When we were debating whether we should make a vacation out of the conference and have me go along, the thing that put me over the edge to say YES was the dream of flying on a long flight next to my husband, with nothing to do but read a kindle book or tap tap tap on my laptop.
Visiting one of the most beautiful places on earth…sounds great! 12 hours next to hubby with no demands…sounds awesome!
The clear skies of Tucson make me think of flight quite often. When I first moved to Tucson, I felt like every day was the best summer day of the year. Growing up in the Midwest, a spate of clear days were something to be treasured. I often went a week or two with weather obscuring the sun, rain, snow, hail, or just pesky clouds determined to make Earth creatures a little more melancholy that day. Welcome to Sunny Tucson, as the postcards say, and it does still have quite an “up” effect on my overall mood, especially in February. The robin’s egg blue and shiny sun cannot be beat, at least for me.
The clear skies are also good for airplanes, in which we have so many. I live just a few miles from the Davis-Montham Air Force Base and also, the Boneyard, where many of our retired Air Force planes reside.
I see so many Air Force jets practicing astounding fancy moves over the city. There is an annual Air Show where pilots show off their daring dos, and it really is inspiring to see five jets screaming throughout the sky straight up. I mean, what kind of a person DOES that? These guys are amazing! Both the crazy acts of flying and the character of the pilots gives my day even more of an “up”.
The songs, Learning to Fly by Pink Floyd and Learn to Fly by the Foo Fighters are constantly going through my mind during Air Show time.
Up In The Air
So many things around me are changing.
I am heading to my parents’ home today in Milwaukee to help them move. For years they planned on moving from their north side ranch house in which they lived for over forty years to my mother’s inherited house from my grandmother in Mequon. The Mequon house is the home in which she grew up and just a few miles from the Milwaukee home.
I’m not sure why it took them so long to move from one house to the next. Their original plan was to move to the Mequon house after I graduated from high school twenty years ago. Maybe it is that moving from the Milwaukee house seems like such a big task; the Milwaukee house is the house that my mother and my father chose to buy together while the Mequon house is the house that chose them through an inheritance.
The Mequon house has been waiting a long time for their prodigal owners to return. It was built in the 1937 by my great grandparents. When my great grandfather passed away, my great grandmother asked my grandfather and his family to move in, else she sell the house. It was just after the second world war, and though jobs were hard to find, my grandfather sold their home in Indianapolis and moved the family. My mother was born just days after they moved into the Mequon house. Since my mother inherited the house, several families have rented it from them.
The house has been “up in the air” since the last family moved out over ten years ago. I am hoping it finds itself resting with the good company of my parents soon and that my visit to help with the move will make it so.
School’s out today for my son: the last day of 1st grade. He will be going to a different school next year. As an epilogue to an earlier post I wrote about choosing schools and commutes, I decided to send my son to a new charter school just up the road from my home. A friend of mine was on the planning committee for the school and suggested it. The philosophy behind the school is to promote critical thinking and learning through exploration while sticking to the typical Vail school system’s curriculum. I have a good feeling about it. The principal has a background in special education and has an excellent reputation after being a beloved principal at another Vail school. I think he might be an out of the box thinker. He is certainly interested in getting to know parents and is easy to talk to.
But it is a change. I am hoping my son will enjoy the change but we must wait until July to see how this new school works for him and for our family.
My daughter will be beginning pre-school in September and will be graduating from being “the baby” to being a little girl. She will be attending the co-op school that my son enjoyed and I know that it will be a good place for her. I look forward to seeing what she thinks of the new schedule of going to school and playing with friends and being away from me.
The co-op school is parent run and I volunteered to be on the board this year. I’m looking forward to serving on the board but a little nervous as sometimes the board must make difficult decisions.
And then there is my brother. For the last six years he has worked so hard at getting his degree. He moved from Chicago to Tucson after the loss of a close friend to suicide. Wanting to move on with his life, he lived with us for two years and now lives on his own while studying at the University of Arizona. He has struggled here for years as his stay in Tucson has sometimes been a good one but has sometimes been particularly difficult for him. He is working so hard and quite determined.
He met a wonderful woman last year, or rather, re-connected with a friend from Chicago days and a lovely romance ensued. He is looking forward to the day when he moves to Florida, where she currently resides. We are all hoping and praying for him to finish the degree he has worked so hard to achieve this summer. I personally have a good feeling about where he is right now.
But I want to end these stories in an authentic way in this article. All four stories, my parents and the house, my son and his school, my daughter and her school and my brother and his degree are all still authoring. The endings are still up in the air.
I have a good feeling about how they are going to end, but really, it is all up to them, the major players.