Today I dropped my wife and baby to the airport. I expected that it would be difficult, but I didn’t know HOW hard it was actually going to be! For weeks, we have been prepping for the trip; deciding what foods to take, what medicines to get and how can we entertain her on the epic journey to see her other family in China. So, throughout this whole thing I have been thinking, “it is going to be so
difficult leaving them at the gate” I was so obsessed with it that I decided to book a ticket so that I could ACTUALLY walk them to the gate (it only cost €15), and for some reason I thought that seeing the plane that they were getting on would calm my nerves a little… SPOILER ALERT: it didn’t!
As I was sitting there watching my daughter play I had a sick feeling in my stomach. I wasn’t thinking about the sleep/work and relaxation that I could catch up on while she was gone, or how much I’d miss my darling wife, or how fantastic it would be for Jade to see our family in China. I was too panicked about the following:
- Who’s the pilot? How many hours has he/she flown?
- Who’s the co-pilot? Are they good enough to take over if something happens?
- What’s the safety record of this airline?
- How often is the airplane serviced?
- What countries are on the flight path?
- How will Jade deal with turbulence?
I was completely irrational! I tried everything to calm my nerves (bar a large glass of wine, but that’s an entirely other blog post!) but I just couldn’t shake that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. I've flown a lot for work, plus we go back to China at least once a year and I’ve never worried about any of these things. I tried to keep it together because I didn’t want my wife to know I just how nervous I was… after all, for the next 14 hours she was going to have to entertain our little princess all by herself on a plane full of strangers!
Then the announcement was made that they were boarding their row, it was like a kick in the guts. My eyes welled up, my body tensed and I just wanted to hug them until the plane left! I was even thinking about changing my ticket and boarding with them but I knew that was madness. I gave them one last hug, watched Jade smile, laugh and blow kisses at me and then they had passed the gate.
I sat down and had a cry. I stayed until their plane left the gate and then began my journey home from Dublin airport, trying not to make eye-contact with people staring over and clearly wondering why I didn’t get on the flight!
I’ve never been an emotional person but having a little human look up to you, needing you to protect them and help them develop into a better little human has changed me. Things like sick children, long lost family TV shows and anything where a parent dies now gives me severely “leaky eyes”. This change is completely out of character but you know what, I like it and I’m not afraid to admit it! I enjoy different things now than I did before we had Jade, for example I’d rather a stay at home and read stories than meet people in a pub, I’d rather go to the park and feed ducks than go to work. I guess that no matter what age we are we are constantly growing and learning.
Thankfully this blog post has kept my mind off my wife and kid being 30,000ft in the air in a metal tube flying to the other side of the world – for at least a couple of minutes anyway! I just FaceTimed them and they are approaching their destination… I can’t even imagine what my phone bill will look like in 2 weeks! Thank god for technology!!