Hearts and Flowers


I'm supposed to be writing this in Tucson, my feet tucked up nicely beneath me, while Eliana plays with her little besties she has known for most of her life. My friend Jill said Hotel What? No, you stay here! And we nodded happily and made sure to pack the flower girl dress and the bridesmaid dress and our shoes and asked the BFF where the hell my headband and pretty shrug were because I had torn my closet apart and Oh Thank God...she made me leave them at her house when I moved to Maine because I lose everything. I'm in control again, of only for a short while.

I was supposed to have written three other blog posts by now that may be obsolete by the time I have time to write them. And I wasn't supposed to be worried about a family emergency I can't do anything about from 28,000 feet.

Instead, I'm on a plane heading from Georgia to Tucson  for what is turning out to be the most expensive hand basket ever made. If you didn't get the reference, ask the other kids in class, cuz I've got a lot of material to cover here. So...moving on.

We missed yesterday's plane because the child had the kind of meltdown that led to her therapy. Delta rebooked us and was kind enough to waive enough of the change fee so we could afford to make the trip, but because of Life and Shit Hitting the Fan, that meant we had to wait until today for a flight.

The Four Points Sheraton across the street from the airport took pity on the sobbing mess that was me when I went to see if we could get a room once we realized we were stuck. Miss the morning flight out of Bangor and you missed your chance, period.

I was also supposed to have launched my writing and social media coaching services by now, annoyed all of my friends with requests for NEDA Awareness Week retweets, and possibly slept for more than 24 hours in the last week. But that was before the two ER trips and the day at the pediatrician and the resulting questioning looks from strangers when the five year old is wandering around with her legs so wide apart you'd think she has chaps on. The plastic doughnut she's got hooked on her arm like a security blanket confuses the hell out of the people really paying attention, but I don't have time to explain things like "cellulitis" and "drama queen" and "future broadway star" and "distress tolerance" and "anxiety."

Eliana is finally asleep after a morning only Xanax and a few deep breaths could cure (for ME, people. She's the one who took the deep breaths) and I am relieved. I need the quiet. There is so much to process.

I'm exhausted, but I'm not stupid. Falling asleep would be letting my guard down and if she wakes up and has another screaming fit because I DON'T WANT TO and LET'S GO BACK HOME, NOW!!! (she means Maine), and MAMA, PLEASE!!!!! aren't going to make the woman sitting in front of us on the plane a very happy neighbor. She's already turned around once to tell me she's trying to sleep because Buttercup and I were laughing at knock knock jokes. I was like SHE'S FIVE. She rolled her eyes and turned back around, mumbling about how she has an 8 year old. Which is nice, but I'm not sure how the apples and oranges belong in the same basket. I've got DDDs. The woman with the stick up her ass about the laughing child who was inconsolable only a few moments before because change scares the absolute shit out of her? Well, I didn't get a good look, but I'd ballpark them somewhere in the B-range.

My point? Just because we both have a set of  chi-chis doesn't mean we can trade bras. And my inner child almost wishes the my own child would freak out again and make me feel like the worst mom in the world because I can't fix it. Because then I could ask the woman how her nap was going.

Admit it. You'd feel better, too.

But karma is, it turns out, not always a bitch. We have the happy gay flight attendants chatting in the galley right behind us. This is being mentioned because 1) I miss having a gay boyfriend. I had one in college. And then there one who liked to hit on The Husband  whenever he picked me up for lunch when I was working as a reporter just because The Husband is hot and my GBF was adorable.

2) The Three Amigas are conversing, y'all. It's girl talk and it's loud and obnoxiously cute and I secretly hope the woman in front of me can't sleep.

Petty thoughts? Yes. I freely admit that.

But it's easier to be petty inside of my head while going back and forth with the therapist by email while trying to talk the child off of another ledge because something just set her off and we have no idea what it is or how to fix it or keep it from happening again. I'd rather focus on how she just woke up smiling and asked if she has ever told me that I am the flower of her heart while she plays with her ballerina sticker stage than the feeling of complete and utter helplessness that comes when nothing I say or do can make it better and The Husband has no choice but to leave us in the busy airport terminal so he can order lunch during a layover and I'm sitting on the floor with a child who went from logical, loving, and so adorable it's insane to completely and utterly inconsolable in a matter of seconds.

It's the In Between that does it. The Before, too. And sometimes, The After comes into play in the form of night terrors because we went to a Mexican wedding and my little girl isn't used to hands reaching out constantly to touch while she hides behind my dress because she wasn't exposed to any of the cultural craziness I was growing up. The Before is a bitch because no matter how much time we have to prepare her for any change, it's never enough. The In Between just comes into play on days like today when we have two layovers and three planes for a 3,ooo mile trip.

Because once we got on each plane? I'm in familiar territory. I'm in the place where I am a flower and inside her heart.