One week from today my family and I will climb on a plane and head south. Way south. I'm talking equatorial.
We're going to Grenada. For my husband and me it will be our second time (here's the first). But this will be a first for our kids, in several ways. Not only will it be their first time to see Grenada, but it will be their first time to leave the country. It will be my two youngest children's first time to fly. And it will be the first time we have taken this sort of trip as a family. Usually our vacations consist of driving across the country to visit family. My children have never been to Disneyland or Disneyworld or the Caribbean or even the Grand Canyon or Mount Rushmore or a hotel waterpark resort. This trip may well be the one-and-only time we do something like this together before they start doing things like graduating from high school and getting married.
So the countdown begins, as we try to get all our ducks in a row for departure. And I am excited, truly I am. It's going to be wonderful, a once-in-a-lifetime memory factory. There's just one little problem. To get to Grenada, one has to fly. And I am seriously aerophobic. (Aviophobic? Aviataphobic? Pteromechanophobic? Take your pick.)
I haven't always been this way. I think it hit when I was pregnant with my first child. I was doing some piano accompanying for the school choir in the high school where I was teaching English, and I went along on a trip to attend a choir festival in Colorado. The return flight was terribly turbulent, and I was frightened. I have never looked at flying the same way since, and my fear has gotten progressively worse. The last time I flew was when we went to Grenada in 2002, and I think my poor husband may still have indentations in his arms and hands from my constant clasping of them.
So all of you seasoned flyers out there, can you help? Can you remind me of all those statistics about how flying is the safest way to travel and about how I'm much more likely to injure myself at home or die in a car accident than in a plane? I really don't want to spend all of next Tuesday in a panic. And I hate the thought of passing my irrational fear on to my children who haven't flown.
And if you think about it next Tuesday, could you pray?