[The American Years]

Monday, October 24, 2005

I miss home already.


Espresso: It's like CoffeeZilla.

Imagine 13 hours on a plane, sitting near a 5 year-old and a 7 year-old. Worse than that, they're YOUR 5 year-old and YOUR 7 year-old.

Remember all the dirty looks you've given when kids come into your airplane cabin? Those will be all coming back at you from every seat in every row.

Little did you know that this is not just an airplane. It's a fancy day spa, and not a place for children. Every adult on the plane was born as an adult, and has nothing but scorn for the smaller pupal stages they're looking (down) at now. No tolerance for the little ones, even (especially) from the vacationing preschool teachers. Busses? Trains? The Ferry? Kids are OK. Airplanes? Not so.

Then when you arrive, you're in a million miles from home, and everything's different... Every sign that can't be read by the family (which simply means every single sign). All the strange food. Add exhaustion to disorientation to confusion... possibly on top of indigestion. Even the McDonalds tastes different. Is nothing sacred?

In the words of Tom Waits: "How can the same moon, over this Chinatown fair, look down on Indiana and find you there?"

I know the codependence craze has come and gone. So what do they call it now, when you feel overly responsible for other people's happiness? Do they call it parenting? Family life? Intercompany transfer?

I know I'm going to hear the sad whiny little voice saying "I want to go back to Kentucky." And of course, the kids might whine too.

My response? "You want some cheese with that whine? I'd buy you some from the grocery store but I have no idea what anything is in that dairy case. And I'm only guessing that it is the dairy case."

So I have some bundled anxiety about being responsible for their individual and collective happiness. What if it means we miss Yosemite this year? What if we miss Kathleen's brother Dan's wedding? What if it's all my fault? Clearly, no matter what happens, it's all my fault.

That's already been established, if only by myself.

1 comment:

Mrak Tohmas said...

"But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover'd country from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution..."

-Hamlet Act III Scn 1

I think this was Hamlet describing a long trip with Children under 10. Note the references to death and a native hue of resolution which I think refers to blushing embarrasment. I can attest to the truth in all that.