The last time I flew with just my daughter, she was only one year old and spent most of the flight crying, eating, or sleeping. She was a lot easier to travel with on the most recent flight we took with my family, but this time around she could be entertained by coloring books. I hope to be able to do another girl's trip with her, especially after reading about our Chick Lit Cheerleader's recent adventure with her daughter. They visited Eileen Goudge, author of Swimsuit Body, which came out earlier this month.
Tucker Women Gone Wild
“You know I’ve never been on a plane, Mom. And I’ve never met Aunt Eileen even though she’s, like, my aunt. I can’t believe you’ve never let me meet my own aunt in my whole entire life!” My daughter and I were carving out plans to take a girls’ trip. My sweet friend, author Eileen Goudge, spends time in Grantsburg, Wisconsin and was chomping at the bit for Gracie and I to join her. Love notes, phone calls, little gifts, and silly selfies had been exchanged between Gracie and Eileen over the past four years yet it was time to hug it out in person.
“You know Aunt Eileen is your aunt in love and not by blood, right?” I asked.
Gracie corrected me. “You are definitely wrong, Mom. She is my aunt in blood. Family is family. We love who we love and they become family in our blood and in our heart.”
Oh my sweet girl. If only everyone in the world felt as you do about loving others, what a beautiful world this would be. Hold onto that; tightly, and never let go. Rather than tear up at her sentiment, because I cry at the drop of a hat, I remained on topic. “Gracie, you’ve flown before!”
“No I haven’t!” she argued.
“Just because you were not in a seat, and I was pregnant with you, doesn’t mean that you’ve never been on a plane.”
“That totally doesn’t count, Mom,” she scoffed. “Like I could really look out the window or order a Coke from the lady or dude with the cart inside your belly!”
|Plane faces are not plain faces :)|
Airline travel is a lot of hurry up and wait. Hurry up and pack, we have to hit the road! Hurry and commute to Chicago, yet wait in morning rush-hour monotony. Hurry up and run to the bus, the tram, and the terminal. Hurry up, take off your shoes and baubles, and wait in the TSA line. Hurry up to the terminal so you can wait for your flight. Hurry all the passengers off the previous flight so you can wait your turn to board. Traveling is a lesson in patience not only for nine-year-olds, but for adults as well.
“Mommy, I’m nervous to fly,” Gracie said as she buckled her seatbelt, then wrung her little fingers while fidgeting on the plane.
I pulled her puppy pillow out of her backpack. “I bet Theo is nervous, too,” I said, handing her her beloved friend. “You could tell him there’s nothing to be nervous about. He gets to look out the window, and watch the busyness of life below him grow very small. Pretzels and a drink will be coming his way, and, before you both know it, we’ll be hugging Aunt Eileen at the airport.”
Gracie took my hand and patted it lovingly. “Theo isn’t real, Mom. You know that, right?” Totally reminiscent of when she was in kindergarten and broke the news to me the Easter Bunny wasn’t real.
Eyes wide, little fingers entwined with mine, plane rumbling down the tarmac—we had liftoff. She reclined her seat, opened her tray table countless times (my apologies to the dude in front of her), scored a few bags of snacks all in an hour and fourteen minutes. And just like that, she could cross “flying in a plane not in utero” off her bucket list along with visiting her Aunt Eileen.
|Birds of a feather!|
Let me tell you about my daughter and Eileen; what a pair. Over four days they enjoyed shopping excursions, fed horses and saw deer, visited a dairy farm, canoed up and down Big Wood Lake, and snuggled on the couch watching Unlikely Animal Friends and SpongeBob Squarepants. They went for walks and stalked the neighbors four dogs Gracie was dying to play fetch with. Gracie taught Eileen about Littlest Pet Shop and Eileen taught her to to chill out and enjoy watching the hummingbirds and other aviary wonders. It doesn’t get any better than that.
When I think about the adults my children turn to as friends, mentors, even grandparent figures, Gracie is so blessed to have a set of those shoes filled by Eileen. A tenderhearted, elfin-magic little girl connecting with one of the kindest souls I’ve ever known. I’ll be their third wheel member of the Lake Girls anytime.
|Bird watching in the early hours|
|Making new friends|
Jen Tucker is the author of the funny and true stories, The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out and The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt. In September 2012, she had her children's book, Little Pumpkin published as an e-book. She also blogs monthly for Survival for Blondes. She currently lives in Indiana with her husband, three kids and two dogs. You can find her at Twitter, Facebook, her blog and on her website. And in case you missed them. check out her previous Chick Lit Cheerleader posts here.