2018-03-12 / Opinion

‘Weather’ or Not – Flying Happens

Janine Talbot

Spouse and I have been empty nesters once again this week. Second Born, our temporary boarder, decided to spring for a big trip before settling down to a permanent job somewhere (anywhere but Maine, she tells us). She and BFF are in France for the week, meeting a third member of their college entourage who is teaching in Rennes (yes, I had to look up the spelling). This trip was originally scheduled to happen over two years ago, while they were all on their study abroad programs. A week before they were to rendezvous in Paris, the infamous attack took place, curtailing their plans. You might call this week their “So There” tour.

The weather last week was so mild that we were sure Spring was teasing us and we were deliriously close to the final days of that dang groundhog’s prediction. Delivery personnel dressed lighter, the sidewalks were a little busier, and Spouse wasn’t wearing a jacket when I picked him up one day after work.

As the week wore on, it was evident March would be roaring in as forecasted wind warnings became the latest news story. On Friday morning you couldn’t turn on the television without seeing reporters (the ones who drew the short straw) being blown across a beach or a deserted street.

Nothing brings a mom closer to the edge than sending your kid off — no matter what age — on a great, big metal cylinder in 40 mile-per-hour winds. I couldn’t stay away from images of Winter Storm Riley (why did they start naming these things anyway?) whipping violently up the eastern seaboard. Widely increasing winds were knocking out power, causing flights to be canceled and bringing several feet of snow to some areas. Then the weather people started coming up with terrifying terms designed to keep me on the verge of a heart attack beginning Thursday night. Hearing that the storm was dangerously battering several states was bad enough, but Bombogenesis? Now you’re just making words up.

I started looking up Second Born’s flight status first thing Friday morning as she was finishing her final packing up. Hundreds of flights were being cancelled up and down the east coast, but not hers. We took her to the bus station where she and BFF boarded a bus bound for Logan Airport that Friday afternoon. I was sure they wouldn’t be going anywhere once they got to Boston, but shortly before the bus left the station we learned that the flight would be leaving almost an hour earlier. This made no sense to me because, hey, I know all things meteorological and scientific, and I knew that plane shouldn’t be taking a chance in these conditions. All right, so I don’t know any of that, but I’m a mom, and that should factor into the airline’s decision, don’t you think?

Apparently, it did not. The plane hit the skies in Boston and came down in London for a flight change without incident, and they landed in Paris as scheduled. All my fretting was for naught, except to fulfill my Italian heritage responsibilities.

There’s only one thing to do when you’re stressing about your child’s travel. Call the parent of your child’s travel companion. BFF’s mom happens to be one of my favorite people. Whenever we talk we simply pick up where we left off, no matter how long it’s been. It only took a few minutes for us to decide that dinner all together would be a great idea when our weary travelers return Sunday afternoon. That will give us a chance to hear stories before they’re forgotten in a whirlwind of exhaustion and getting back to reality.

The fact that they’re not only facing jetlag but will lose an hour’s sleep due to “springing ahead” this weekend won’t matter one bit. I’m sure they’ll be floating on memories of France for quite a while and won’t remember much about all that weather drama. And we can all say to March’s roar – so there.

Janine Talbot resides in southern Maine with her husband of 30-something years, their youngest daughter until she gets a better offer, and two-and-a-half cats. She can be reached at janinevtalbot@gmail.com.

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