Midair Mamba and Scary Toilets

By | July 25, 2011

I am in midair somewhere between Saskatchewan and Manitoba and putting quite a bit of effort into getting my breathing back to normal. The boys and I boarded a flight to London and further on to Budapest. Exciting, yes, but the rattling of the plane claws at my enjoyment like a crazed cat. Up down then shake. Repeat until most passengers are white faced and wide eyes. The plane and my food tray are dancing. Nope, not good. Seat belt sign on. Seat belt sign off. The ding that announces the on/off sign switch almost makes a tune. I have a hard time appreciating any music right now as I am busy holding on to two food trays, mine and Sasha’s, and trying to think hard if I have any unfinished business. Grossly unfinished that is. Drama queen I am not, but the rattling of a plane does that to the sanest mind. I am reduced to a human-size lava lamp only with food in it instead of sparkles. Less glamorous by all means. Tony questions me with a look that is both scared and annoyed. “Can’t eat anything if we do this.” Well, we are not really eating right now. We’re as helpless as the grains of rice spilled on his t-shirt like little bunnies scattered all over a field. Rice listens to no one when high in the air, and my stomach subscribes to the same unruliness.I smile. Just a bit of turbulence I tell Tony. A bit? Well, no, but why would I scare him. The crew is told to take their seats. Now that seat belt sign stays on. We do the midair mamba for another 10 minutes. The guy across the aisle drinks beer like there’s no tomorrow, no pun intended, although at this point there’s no puns I care much about. Two cans, done. He smiles. That’s one way one can take the edge off.

It will be a bumpy flight. Nothing I can do about except for “accept the things I cannot change…” Trying to rest becomes the very thing that converts a bumpy flight into rocking to sleep. Sasha puts his head on my lap and his eyelids flutter like drunken butterflies. He asks sleepily if the pilots will be flying the plane while we sleep. They should sleep too, he argues. For our sake and everyone else’s on the plane, I hope they won’t. A few minutes later Tony plops himself on top of his brother and we’re all lulled to interrupted dreamland rocked by occasional airplane mamba.

When Sasha wakes up I take him to the bathroom. As we walk back to our seats he states with an awkward smile “that’s one scary toilet.” Not one peep about the mad dance of the big metal bird. But the toilet is scary because it makes that “I’ll slurp you out of this plane” kind of noise. To a five year old with a great imagination it is clearly scary. The age of innocence is a fascinating one. I surely am grateful to witness it first hand through my boys’ eyes. I am grateful to walk on solid ground again. For three more hours until we board the next plane. By the time we will, this will be all left behind, just like it should be.

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