Recognizing Learning Experiences

Let me start by saying this is a post about dealing with crap. Your fears. Your anxiety. Your stress. The things that we normally stick on the back burner and not deal with - this whole bit is about dealing with it.

It is not a product review. Product push. Religious push. Or me being a Jehovah Witness via a blog.

Mmmmm kay?

I've eluded to my anxiety of flying before. I'm sure of it. My personal anxiety of this method of transport does not physically render me unable to do it - it just sends me into an emotional tailspin for a solid 24-hour period before the flying death trap lands.

Just recently the Hubs and I loaded up the crew and took a trip to the west coast via - you guessed it - a plane ride. I, being well aware of the fact that purchasing plane tickets meant I was going to have to actually get on an airplane, thought I would be more proactive this time.

I have taken Dramamine in the past. Why for? I have no idea. Planes don't make me motion sick, they make me feel like I'M TRAPPED IN A CAVERN OF DOOM at 35,000 feet in the air. So, Dramamine is not a big help.

Me, in the middle, after taking anxiety meds

I've taken doctor prescribed anxiety meds before. The suckers rendered me almost useless. For well beyond the designated flight time, might I add. Which meant - upon landing - no booze for you, young lady.


I needed something. Something that would help but not to the point of I'm Bernie in Weekend At Bernie's.

I had been reading about a product that was all natural that could help people cope with everyday anxiety. Safe for kids. Safe for adults. Safe for dogs even.

So, 24 hours pre time-to-go - I bought a bottle and kept it in my carry on with the instructions on repeat in my brain.

Now, let's be clear, the instructions explicitly say Children over the age of 3 may take up to three droppers full. Adults and children over the age of 12 may take up to four droppers full.

The rep whom I bought them from said she took three and they worked wonders.

So, 20 minutes before boarding I dutifully gulped three droppers full and waited for the magic. Or the calm. Or the... anything.

Why did I take three droppers full when the instructions CLEARLY stated I could take four? That a child could take three... and I thought that would help me??

I should have realized - if I'm large enough that I could easily be FOUR three-year-olds, taking the same dose as one three-year-old was not. going. to. cut. it.

The result - well, let's just say on the return flight I figured out I needed to take more AND... and what came next is also a result.

We board. We sit. We buckle. We take off.

Then, of course, because it's a requirement or something - we hit turbulence. On our way up, nose of the plane still pointed upward, bumpity-bump-bump we go and I'm certain the planes about to fall apart and I did not hear one damn thing about parachutes.

Therefore I start to pray. And when I look at the children on both sides of me, I tell them to pray also. Not because they're required to but because this is what we try to teach in my household, when you're scared - say a prayer (or 19.)

At this point I see my 15-year-old son focus forward and make the sign of the cross.

He does it quietly. And then goes into a silent prayer.

Now... let me stop here for a moment because this action - this little act of not just devotion but routine - it caught me so incredibly off guard.

You see, we're Catholic in my house. The sign of the cross is like the word "Aloha" to the Hawaiian culture. It's a beginning and an ending. It's normal for us. All of us. Even me.

...Except when I'm in public - I usually forego this. I just launch into whatever array of verbage I'm needing to take to God at that moment.

I try to do so quietly and not draw attention to myself.

Not because I want to hide my religion. Or what I'm doing. But mostly because I don't like people looking at me - for any reason.

But - seeing this 15-year old kid, openly starting his prayer in the way he'd always been taught to, without a single solitary regard for who may see it or question it, made me realize something; our kids teach us things too.

Also, I want to have the confidence of my 15-year-old son when I grow up.

Just so I don't leave you hanging here - the flight was great. Really and truly once we reached cruising altitude there was nary a bump and the landing was so smooth my husband did not even realize we were on the ground (although secretly I think he was drinking.) So, this story is not one of some epic aeronautic tale.

It's just me - being real - reminding all of us that as parents - our kids have shining moments on occasion. And sometimes, during these moments, we, as the grown-ups, learn something from those tiny turd head of ours.

Also, getting real with anxiety. And size. And if you take meds for your anxiety, take a real dosage for your size. Whether your the size of an eight-year-old or the size of two eight-year-olds.

Get it figured out, kids. Nobody wants to be the person that warning labels were created for.