The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Mother and Daughter Take Flight

“Mama, get your hand off my arm,” my daughter Phoebe demanded, scowling.

Lifting my head from where it was buried in the soft crook where her shoulder and neck meet, I opened my eyes. No wonder she was upset, I realized sheepishly. I had her arm in a death-grip. Taking a deep breath, I let it go, sat up straight and pretended to focus on my crossword puzzle.

We were on a seven-thirty seven plane bound for Phoenix to visit my mom. To say that I’m a jittery flyer is an understatement. When possible, I’ll gladly opt for a full day’s drive to destinations that are a quick plane jaunt away. And I’ve been known to cancel long-anticipated trips at the last minute because the thought of flying was too scary. After 9-11, I didn’t think I’d ever fly again.

Things have changed, however, since Phoebe’s birth almost five years ago. Events like my mother moving out of state and our move to Marin from our long-time home in San Diego where we still have ties have conspired to make me a frequent flyer.

Though I still get anxious every time I board a plane, flying with Phoebe forces me to try and put on a brave face -- I don’t want to pass my phobia on to her. And to my surprise, I’ve found that when I can take a break from obsessing about the plane crashing or being blown to smithereens by terrorists long enough to see flying through her eyes, soaring high above the earth can be, almost, enjoyable.

As we cruised above a blanket of cotton-ball clouds on our way to Phoenix, for example, Phoebe pressed her face to the window and pointing to them squealed, “Look -- it’s Princess Land!” She was delighted to discover that a place she thought reachable only via the tire swing at her school was also a U.S. Airways destination.

Later, the plane bounced through a tunnel of darker clouds. My heart raced and I clutched my armrests. But Phoebe’s face was full of wonder as she turned to me and asked if she could open the window and squeeze some rain from a cloud. As we made our torturously slow descent toward solid ground, for me, the worst part of a flight -- and every shift in speed, tiny bump or new sound signaled imminent doom -- she marveled at the “toy houses” spread out below us and wished she could live in one.

We’re flying again next month. It would be a stretch to say I’m looking forward to it. But I’m not dreading the idea as much as I used to. And I am looking forward to the adventure that flying with my daughter always proves to be.

By Dorothy O’Donnell

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