Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

My evolution of flying

I didn't get to experience my first plane ride until I was 12 years old. It was the long-awaited trip to Disney World. It's possible that we could have gone sooner but the rule was that we would not be taking the coveted trip until my younger brother could walk around the whole mall without complaining. It took him til he was 9  years old. It is quite possible that this was just a cover-up to prolong the inevitable trip of a lifetime for every young child. Nevertheless, I loved that first flight.

Just a few years later I was able to fly again, this time by myself, coming home from a visit with my cousins in Illinois. Then there was that trip to Europe that my friend and I took, with our memorable flights on China Air. And finally, my honeymoon flight to Nova Scotia. (That's right, if you marry Cindy, you will not get to enjoy any exotic trips to resorts or on cruise ships.) Yes, those were the days when I loved the exhilaration of flying in an airplane.

And then I had kids. And.All.The.Stuff. And entertaining little ones on a flight. When there were just two littles and The Good Doctor was a youth pastor, we decided to join him and his teens on a trip to the annual denominational convention. It was in Orlando that year with side trips to Disney and Sea World. Why not? Why, oh why, indeed?

We left with one child on meds for an ear infection. We came home with 2 children and a mother suffering from the stomach flu. On the airplane. Not fun. At all.

And combining kids with the prospect of flying made me think of wills. And the need for one. No, I definitely did not like planes anymore. It wasn't too much of a problem, though, because with a family of our size, vacationing with the need for flights was financially and logistically impossible.

Until we found out about Victor. In the span of three months I had to get on and off an airplane 9 times plus all of the connecting flights in between the east and west coasts. Always saying good-bye to someone on one side of the US or the other. It was hard but in answer to a call I put one foot in front of the other. I cried buckets walking through the doors, wiped the tears away before going through the security check and choked them back while sitting next to strangers making small talk for hours in the air. When it was over, I never wanted to get on a plane again.

For my birthday, The Good Doctor decided it would be nice to fly me to Kentucky to spend some time with Andrew. I wanted to spend time with Andrew so blocked out the thought of walking into another airport.

That worked until Friday morning when I found myself once again being dropped off just yards from the entrance. My brain couldn't convince my heart that this was a good thing. A vacation. No hospital or medical wires or unknowns on the other end. Just Andrew. Only the prayers of The Good Doctor got me to turn around and walk through those doors.

And then, just in case I was thinking of enjoying flying again, the plane was delayed and my connecting flight was in jeopardy. But the airline's promise to make up time held true and the plane that took me from Baltimore to Philadelphia (because we all know the best way to go south is to go east first) did its job. The sky was beautiful and sunny and since the early model Wright Brother's plane I was on didn't have enough uumph to get over the clouds, the view of the coast and land below was exhilarating. I could have gone house shopping, the view was so close and clear.

And here I am. I enjoyed 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. No CPAP, no snoring, no blind baby requesting a pacifier or covers or "mu-ic" at 3 in the morning just because his lack of vision messes with his circadian rhythm. I ate a breakfast that I didn't have to make or clean up. I'm going to have lunch with my son and then watch him direct the filming of a college basketball game. We'll enjoy the evening together and then I'll get another night of uninterrupted sleep. I hear there's snow coming. Looks like my flights might be canceled. Maybe I should just book myself another couple of nights here.

I just might start liking the airlines again.

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