The Odyssey

I am a little excited to be able to stay up beyond my typical Sunday night 7:00 bedtime, although I will likely still be in bed rather early. Even though I took tomorrow off work, I still need to wake up at my typical Monday morning time of 3:15. Why? To take my daughter to the airport for her 4:00 check-in.

Abby is going to Washington, DC and New York City with a group of students from the Arts classes at her school. They leave early tomorrow morning and return back home next Sunday afternoon. My daughter has been beyond excited for this trip since the first inkling she heard about it many months ago. We are pretty excited for her, too, although I am also slightly jealous. She will get to see most of the significant landmarks in both cities, like a bunch of memorials, the White House, the Supreme Court and US Capitol, Mount Vernon, the Smithsonian, Empire State building, Statue of Liberty, a Broadway show (Finding Neverland), Central Park, Radio City Music Hall, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station, Metropolitan Museum of Art, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and more. For a girl who has been almost nowhere, this is quite the first trip without a family presence.

Abby will also experience her very first flight and then some! She is more than a little nervous about the flight, how she might react to the sensation of flying, and the risk of crashing. Those are logical considerations for someone who has never been in an airplane before. I had similar thoughts before my first flight several years ago. I had a much shorter flight, only an hour, but I remember how strongly that first take-off affected me. I didn’t panic or anything and I did not get sick, but I did get choked up with emotion for a few brief moments. In general, I like wild amusement park rides, but that was a completely new experience. My return flight home did not have that same effect, so I think that Abby will quickly adapt. Or it could be a very long trip!

As for the risk of crashing…well, as her mother, I don’t want to really think about such a possibility, even though I am 100% aware of the potential. It also hasn’t escaped my notice that my daughter is visiting two of the most high risk American cities. Terrorists love those cities, I think, but I am choosing not to dwell on the dangers. Millions of people live and visit those cities all the time and are perfectly safe. People fly in planes every day and most of them take off and land without incident. Abby will be fine. She will have the time of her young life. Undoubtedly, she will come home wanting to travel again.

(The Odyssey by Homer)

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