It's dark outside. We are somewhere between Boston and Italy a I type this. We are sitting directly in front of the bathroom in the very back of the plane. The headset in her seat doesn't work. The cushion in mine doesn't exist. I'm a wee bit claustrophobic, and here I am, boxed in to a window seat. It's really hot, and the seat is feeling smaller and smaller.
Breathe, Amy. Breathe.
Mom's Nook isn't working, and she has absolutely no interest in my offer of Newsweek. She brought games with her from Florida, including Scrabble -- my fave -- and left them in my car to try and lighten up the load. She is a bit ticked, and my telling her we need to start focusing on the positive doesn't help.
I mean, we got to the airport. We got both our bags back. The paper cut out version of the safety instructions on Alitalia was hysterically funny. And Kung Fu Panda is playing. What else can you ask for?
Ok... fine. A moment of silence, perhaps.
In approximately four hours, while most of you are still sleeping, we will arrive in Rome. It will be bright and early in Italy. As if the adventure behind us wasn't good enough, we will have a two hour train ride to Naples, an hour train to Sorrento, and a half hour bus ride ahead of us. Planes... trains... and freaking automobiles.
And a month of exploring one of the most loved places on the planet. Together. When my mother arrived last night, I was struck when she did this thing with her shoulders and grin that reminded me of the senior mermaid staying at home with the dogs because this trip would have been too much (in the first five minutes, right Grandma?) I was reminded how lucky I am to share an experience like this with her. How many "kids" get to do this as adults? We have busy lives that only get busier as we leave the nest. Work, families of our own. Time dwindles, as does the opportunity with aging parents. When it's all said and done, what we have to show for our lives is the moments. Each moment today is one I won't forget.
Yes, it's an expensive 60th birthday gift... but permanently securing my position as the favorite child?