Our gym started offering swim lessons in their brand-new, indoor pool so I thought I'd check into their program. Now that Delaney's almost two I think she'd really enjoy the Aqua Tot, "mommy and me," classes they offer. The schedule looks good and the price is right. There's only one problem: I'd have to wear a bathing suit in public.
Becoming a mother gave me a confidence in my appearance I'd never experienced before. Well, it's either that or the fact that I have less time to care about what other people think. Whichever it is, I'm glad. Except when I'm faced with wearing a bathing suit in front of other, certainly more fit, people. Sure, I wore a suit on my honeymoon but we were in the tropics. It was either wear one or wear nothing at all and I wasn't about to subject the friendly islanders to that. I was also smaller then and not sporting a post-partum bowl full of jelly in my midsection (it was more like a bowl full of oatmeal and, therefore, so much more appealing). And although I weigh a bit less now than I did when I got pregnant, pregnancy had a sinister way of rearranging things so my flaws stand out even more than ever.
My fantastic plans to drop 20 pounds in a week haven't gone the way I'd hoped and yet the swim class registration deadline swiftly approaches. It's time for me to suck it up (and in) and get over my self-consciousness. I need to find a suitable suit with spandex in all the right places and stop obsessing about what others might think. Delaney definitely won't care if my belly pooches out a little (or a lot). She'll be way too busy bobbing around, splashing her mama and having fun. That is, after all, what it's supposed to be about.
1. "Folks, we're going to be a bit delayed. We can't get the engine started and the mechanic tells us it'll take way too long to fix the problem so they're sending out an air cart to give us a jump."
2. "We heard from a flight that just arrived from your destination that we're in for a bumpy ride the entire way there. I've asked the flight attendants to remain seated for the duration of the flight."
Our pilot actually uttered these words prior to our leaving Houston for home. Uh, buddy? Ever heard of TOO MUCH INFORMATION? I was sh*tting bricks before the stupid plane even left the ground. And the flight attendants weren't even allowed to serve me alcohol to calm my fitfully frazzled nerves. What kind of service was that? Flying and extreme turbulence certainly doesn't bother them. They should have taken one for the team and passed out prophylactic shooters, no?
Needless to say I'm glad to be alive let alone back home again. The part of my last post where I said I'd gotten over my fear of flying? Yeah, that proclamation was a bit premature. I'm glad we made the trip. It was immensely worthwhile. But the next time I see a plane, it'll be too soon. Way too soon.
Getting there is not half the fun. It's not even a quarter of the fun. It's a gigantic pain in the ass lugging a toddler, three suitcases, a carseat, several carry-ons and two laptops across the country. But overall I can't complain. Although we hit a few bumps along the way, we were blessed with good traveling karma. The planes were on time and we survived the flights (I will admit to having a glass of chardonnay on the second, bumpier flight to calm my nerves but a playdate wasn't involved so it was totally OK.).
The hassles we encountered were minor: my car's window wouldn't roll back up in the long-term parking lot after we retrieved the parking ticket; Delaney's diaper had a monster leak on the first flight; and it took us 45 minutes to drive two miles on an Indianapolis freeway due to a wreck that was up ahead, turning what should have been an hour and a half drive to Grandma's into a nearly three-hour ordeal. Those problems certainly paled in comparison, though, to what a wonderful traveler Delaney was. She was cheerful the entire time, playing with the toys I'd packed and charming everyone around her. Her favorite "toy" was the saftey information card in the seat pocket in front of her. She is, after all, her mother's daughter although I'm pretty sure she wasn't using it to commit to memory all of the ways you can exit the aircraft during an emergency. I did my best to be brave in front of her and act as if flying was the most wonderful, exciting thing ever, even when I would have preferred to hoark into the barf bag out of sheer terror during takeoff. All of my high school drama classes finally paid off.
There's a ton of snow on the ground here and the temperature is, well, it's frigid. I never fully got the meaning of that word until I stood in a parking lot last night trying to find a sippie cup in a carry-on bag while my nipples froze. Holy mother was it cold. I'm not cut out for weather like this (and you are welcome to remind me I said that when I'm bitching about the Texas heat in July).
The long-awaited sibling reunion takes place later today when Big Sis and Big Brother get out of school. I can't wait to see Delaney with them again. Watching her with her brother and sister and with her Grandma makes this crazy winter wonderland trip worthwhile.
You'd think that Roger catching a horrid virus last week, me struggling through a sinus infection, Delaney's most recent bout with barf and my deeply ingrained fear of flying would have me all riled up just days before our big trip to Indiana. But you'd be wrong. Because, my friends, while I have been busy making lists and buying supplies and wrapping up projects for work, I've also spent plenty of energy employing the gentle art of denial. It's a powerful thing and works so well that I may not even realize I'm on a plane until I feel the wheels lift off the ground. Oooooh. Wait a minute. Just writing about the wheels made my stomach lurch and my hands clench. I guess I've got some work to do in the denial department.
Everyone's telling me to relax. They're telling me not to worry. That flying is way safer than driving. That all I need to do is change my mindset--adjust my attitude--to get through the experience. I've spent the last two weeks fervently trying to burn positive, happy images into my brain of the three of us laughing and enjoying our flight bound for the frozen tundra (The snow is several inches deep and the high will be 15 degrees the day we arrive. This south Texas girl ain't ready for negative wind chills, but that's a whole other whine). But no matter what kind of positive imagery I try, the fear still lives in me.
My only hope is that I'll be so busy entertaining Delaney--supplying her with never-before-seen toys; bribing her with snacks that are normally forbidden; figuring out where to find her a dairy-free lunch at Houston International in 10 minutes or less; doing the diaper tango in the airport bathroom--that I won't have time to dwell on my own silly neuroses.
Since becoming a mother I've learned that it's not all about me (Shocker, I know.). I'd lived a spoiled and selfish existence up until that point so it was a welcome and life-changing lesson. Delaney gave me the gift of clarity about what's truly important. She's my focus. And from all the stories I've heard lately, toddlers demand your full attention when flying. Maybe Delaney can give me another gift by distracting me from my fears. It's a tall order for such a little person but I have a feeling she's up to the challenge.