Flying High: Summer Vacation Anxieties

Posted on June 22, 2012 by


Grand Canyon

lotta work to get from Boston to here…worth every last drop

My sister: Is out of date klonopin safe to take?

Me: Out of date klonopin is fine to take. Do it all the time. Any time I can. As often as I can. Do it. Now.

I texted my sister that very wise medical advice last night at eleven.

She was about to get on a plane for five hours. My sister would rather sit in traffic on an airless day than get on a plane and risk dying in a fiery ball of crumpled steel. We think we can control things, the women in my family. We’re polite control freaks. But our true selves leak sometimes… pilots are unqualified and display hubris akin to magicians, is a belief  revealed when we leak.  At our core, we wish to control all and everything around us. Thus, the drugs. I encouraged her to take the tabs and sit back and enjoy the flight. Right. She took the tabs and survived the flight. No enjoyment.

There is an upside to fear of flying . If you believe your safe arrival is truly a miracle, then you are buoyed by a manic delight as you deplane. The annoyances others experience don’t touch your sense that you’ve tricked fate. Again. That, as far as I can tell, is one of the only upsides to generalized (everything) and specific (fear of flying) anxiety. From the, I pulled one over on the gods state of mind, I got a text from my sister. They had remarkably landed! And she was in the motel pool with her boys!  And they were all relaxing even though there was a dead bird in the deep end and the towels were dirty and the sheets were stained. They were on VACATION!!!! She was just happy they’d survived, dead birds, dirty towels be damned.

My sister and my brother-in- law and my two nephews are on vacation. The type you take when your children are young. Not so little they’ll forget, not so old they’ll ruin the thing. My nephews, 13 and nearly 11, are still pliable enough for another family vacation or two. They will spend two weeks seeing Zion and the Grand Canyon wrapped inside the unit of their immediate family. My sister, for all her work to organize and all the effort to remember everything, will be rewarded with a memory of hot tired car fights, hikes and conversations that wander in the ways free time allows and amazing photos of her boys captured at their very particular ages, this very particular month, in a  particular slant of light, forever.

Now, if that isn’t worth the risk of flying and gulping expired benzo’s, I don’t know what is.

(Image:  Moyan_Brenn_I’M BACK NOW/Flickr Creative Commons)