We leave for Florida in less than four days. My excitement and anticipation has become that usual mix of anxiousness and fear I get now that I’m a parent and we’re leaving our baby behind for a few days. The awful “what-ifs” run through my mind when I think about flying in an airplane, and I remember that we should’ve put together a will long ago. Thoughts race ahead, past the flaming plane crash, to where would Skyler go? Would the grandparents fight over her or would it be settled graciously? What about the gym? Would it just shut down, and how would that play out? I see my messy closet and dresser and imagine family sorting through our things, trying to decide what to keep, donate, or sell. Would they judge me for the messy house I kept or be bitter that we hadn’t left things in less disarray?
The older I get, and the richer life becomes, the more I fear loss. But it’s silly that these feelings erupt so strongly when I’m preparing to get in an airplane. I get in a car every single day, where the chances for an accident are far more likely, and I usually have Skyler with me, so I should be fearing her safety more. But the day in day out routines feel safe, and don’t challenge my imagination the way air travel does. I only wish I could contain it so it wouldn’t put a damper on my excitement and anticipation.
It does help that Skyler is not resentful of us going back to Anna Maria Island without her. I kept it from her for awhile so as not to cause any tantrums or hard feelings, but when I finally revealed our destination, she just responded by asking me if there would be sharks in the ocean and would they get Daddy and me if we swam in it? She’s also extremely excited about her vacation to both Grandmas’ houses while we’re gone, and began packing her suitcase even before I began packing mine. She knows exactly when vacation is and has been counting down accordingly, even telling her teachers that she “can’t wait for Mommy and Daddy to go to Florida so I can get spoiled rotten by my Grandmas!”