First Flight

With the kids in full “angel” mode leading up to Christmas (well, almost), I thought I’d take this opportunity to flash back to a tale about an airplane ride. I wrote this but never posted it.

Prior to this ride, both kids had already ridden on planes several times on trips back and forth to visit relatives in Texas. On this trip, however, something was significantly different: their mother was not with them.

We settled into our row of seats with the youngest next to the window and the oldest next to me. After some chitchat about how much they loved flying, and weren’t scared at all, the stewardess gave the safety speech about seat belts and air masks and emergency landings and such.

The boys stayed quiet through the whole presentation, then checked their seatbelts and looked up at the ceilings.

“Masks?” one asked.

“Yep,” I said. “The air up there is thin, so if the plane springs a leak, we need the masks.”

“Oh,” the oldest settled back in his seat.

I watched their little hands clench the handrests as the plane took off. The youngest stared intently at his toes during liftoff.

“Everything okay?” I asked.

They both nodded.

“First time without mommy,” the oldest said.

After we’d levelled off, I noticed him breathing funny: big gasps followed by little puffs.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Just testing,” he said.

“When are the masks going to drop?” his younger brother asked.

“They’re not. They only -”

“Is it going to break?” my oldest interrupted.

“I hope not.” I said.

“Yeah,” my youngest nodded seriously. “cause then our bags would break.”

I smiled. “True”

“And we’d have to wear masks,” he said.

“Yep,” I agreed again.

“Like The Flash.”

His older brother looked at him like he was crazy.

“Probably not,” I said. “I don’t think ours are red.”


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