I’m typing this from 35 thousand feet in the air, row 32, with my teenage sons on either side of me.
Son one is not having a good time. He has an irrational fear of flying. Not just a fear, abject terror. He gets on a plane, ignores everyone and everything, does yogic breathing, clutches his seat and when that doesn’t work, he pops a pill.
Even then, his palms are sweaty, his breathing irregular, his mind working overtime.
Son two has no such fears. He loves flying, pushes his seat back, takes out his Ipad and earphones and is so plugged in he wouldn’t even notice if the plane went down. Also, he wouldn’t think for a minute that maybe the plane could go down.
And I’m kinda in-between. I’m a bit nervous with take off, then I get into the whole thing, pilots, the clouds and my book. I’m relaxed enough to fight over the armrest, although I don’t really like it when there are bumps for no reason (like now) and the engines change sound (like now) , but realistically, I know we’re going to be okay.
I know we’re not going to crash.
Also, if we do, it’s maybe meant to be. I’m a bit of a fatalist I guess.
But how come we all feel so different? The kid who has huge fears, the kid who has no fear, and me, who just hides them all.
It’s about control. Not having any, or not caring about it. It’s about what happened to us when we were younger, trauma, life experience, and of course, genetics.
Right now we’re being told to put on our seatbelts. Stormy weather ahead. Son One is eying his Ativan. Son Two has started a new computer game. And I’ve just noticed the pilot. Who is super hot in his uniform.
But also has a few beads of sweat on his forehead.