Friday, March 17, 2017
Last night, my entry centered around a man I sat next to on one leg of my trip to Milwaukee for my Uncle Monroe's funeral. One point I made was that the Southwest Airline concept of open seating based on check in times results in never knowing who will be your next door neighbor for each portion of the journey. My last two hours was spent on a connection from Dallas/Love Field back to Houston/Hobby. Because of weather issues, we left Dallas an hour late, arriving at 10 PM instead of approximately 9:00. And then....... we sat on the runway for forty-five minutes. All the gates were full due to the inclement conditions and there was nowhere to dock. Everyone on the plane was anxious, including me. For most, it was the last stop and I was concerned about being ready for school which would begin in less than ten hours. But eventually, a gate opened up and amazingly, my suitcase was one of the first two or three to come around the baggage carousel! I had to get a shuttle bus to the parking lot to pick up my car and then a twenty minute drive home but as you can tell, I survived. We usually do, don't we?
On this flight, I had the aisle seat while the other two were taken by a mother and daughter. My educated guess is the young lady was probably an 8th grader. They had been somewhere over the weekend for some sort of select team tournament, either volleyball or basketball and I'm putting my money on the former. I could not help overhearing them as the minutes dragged by. They had another plane to catch and it was obvious they would miss it, unless it too was delayed. Perhaps understandably, a considerable amount of stress was revealed through their conversation which became somewhat heated and increasingly louder. A plea of calm down and a take charge command of I'll take care of the boarding passes, you go to the gate ensued. Still the irrational behavior continued in spite of the attempt to defuse the situation and get back on a rational train of thought. There was still consternation when we finally deplaned and but I did see their flight was held up so they didn't have to wait until morning to get home, which happened to me on another airline two years ago in Georgia!
Here's what fascinated me about the scene and it's all I remember from Dallas back to Houston. The level headed one in the vignette was the daughter. She tried rather unsuccessfully to calm her mother's emotions even though the barely teen was the only one of their family unit thinking logically. It was like that movie, Freaky Friday, where the mother and her teenage daughter switch places. (Actually, I should say movies as it was remade with Lindsay Lohan reprising Jodie Foster's role from the 1976 original. FYI- I've never seen either!) Part of me was appalled at what I saw. The mom should be the mom and the child should be the child. I heard enough to know there was a father at home and admittedly, I know absolutely nothing of their lives. I also am confident that the mother sacrifices greatly for her child athletically in time and money and emotions; having your kids in these programs is very, very expensive. I also know zero about being a parent as I've never had that blessing. Still, I found myself worrying, if that's possible with people you only shared seats with, that the child is the rock in the relationship. Maybe I'm too sheltered. From what I saw, the girl is the kind of kid I would love to coach. She was never disrespectful; they've probably acted out this drama before. In my limited interactions with the mom, she seemed very nice. Parenting can be overwhelming as even single people know. God put us in families for a reason or reasons, to be more more accurate; support, training, safety, comfort, comradeship, guidance. Father knew best...... and hopefully down here, moms and d can successfully negotiate the sometimes treacherous path of parenting. If not, the kids may have to step in.
Applicable quote of the day:Our children are counting on us to provide two things: consistency and structure. Children need parents who say what they mean, mean what they say, and do what they say they are going to do.
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Posted by Steve Hawley at 9:39 PM