Terrified best describes how I felt as I buckled up. My instincts were screaming not good, not good.
It was my first flight. An American Airlines 747. Silver with a red and blue stripe. I was, am, afraid of heights and my family had no apparent concerns about this ridiculous idea of getting in a steel can and purposely leaving the earth. Insane.
In the grey seat I sat. Looking back towards the door thinking what if, I walked out the door that would lead me off of this plane. The door that closed and pulled away from the stairs that would take me to the earth.
I buckled my seat belt wondering what good it would do. Would we be flying over water? Would it be better to crash on land? My ten-year-old brain was running as many possibilities as possible while the large silver wing outside my tiny window bounced.
I leaned back and held on as the plane began to move. Slowly at first. And ever so gradually faster. And faster. I heard a scraping sound and felt an invisible push back. More and more until I felt my mom’s hand. And then lightness, as let go and gave in. At that point, I believed I’d be fine. It would be alright. My mom was there. It had to be.
Years later, I told my mom about this moment. We laughed at my faith in her strength to keep disaster at bay.
But, at the time it was real. I knew I was safe with my mom.
Fifty years ago, my mom made me feel safe.
What makes you feel safe depends on time and place. What do you need to get you through the tough parts. And we all have tough parts.