When my husband’s grandmother turned 90, she knew exactly how she wanted to mark the occasion. We all flew to her favorite vacation destination to have a party. In other words, we went to Vegas. The weekend was evidence enough that my husband’s grandmother is eight times cooler than I can ever hope to be, because I hated Vegas. I found it completely depressing. It was about money, simulacra, and despair. If all of Vegas one night disappeared back into the desert from which it came, it would not bother me one bit (assuming all the, you know, people got out OK.)
Fortunately, five years later, my grandmother-in-law seems to be mellowing to the level appropriate for, say, a 70 year old. She is one cool cat, not to mention a very classy lady, so I would be willing to go wherever she wanted for her birthday. But, perhaps the four great-grandchildren or her relocation to be near her daughter have led her to opt for a party in Washington, D.C., a place that, come to think of it, for the past seven years, has been almost as depressing as Vegas.
This means that on Thursday, I will be flying out with the boys to D.C. The party isn’t until the following weekend, but we are not schlepping them across country for only a few days. Plus, it is a chance for them to spend time with their grandparents in D.C. and their cousins nearby. Since I won’t be traveling east for some time to come, it means I get to visit with a friend up in Boston, as well.
These are all good things. Unfortunately, there is one complicating factor. J does not get unlimited vacation time. So, he will not be flying out till the following week. In case you have not recently flown the entire breadth of the United States, allow me to inform you that this is a five-hour flight. Those of you who have extraordinary powers of deduction will have by this point figured out that on Thursday I will be taking a five-hour flight with an almost-two-year-old and a not-quite-four-year-old while I am definitely-five-months-pregnant.
J can get me to security; my mother-in-law can pick us up. It is the six hours and 13 minutes in between those two points that I am a little concerned about. So, if you happen to be flying LAX to IAD on Thursday and you see me in the boarding area before the flight, please consider one of the following options: A) entertaining one of my children for a few minutes while I pee; B) offering to help with my carry-on luggage consisting of forty-seven books and twelve trains; or C) drinking heavily so you don’t notice the chaos coming from our row.
And, if you live somewhere between Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles (which means about 73% of you), should you head what sounds like desperate sobbing sometime on Thursday, look up. That’s me flying over you.