A long, long time ago, when I was about to finish high school, I wanted to be a flight attendant. It sounded glamourous to me, and I had never been on a plane before, so wasn’t afraid to fly yet.
A recruiter came to my house to interview me for Flight Attendant School. She wanted my parents to be there too, which I didn’t like one bit. But it was a requirement.
My mom sat her down at the kitchen table and half-heartedly offered her a cup of coffee. Then she sat down herself, but kept her feet planted firmly on the floor. This wasn’t an easy thing for her to do, as her feet didn’t touch the floor when she was sitting. It’s why she always had her legs tucked underneath her. It’s why I do the same thing. There’s something vulnerable in having your feet dangle, like you’re free-falling, or you’re really a child pretending to be an adult.
The interview was awful. My mother responded to questions about me cautiously. She didn’t want to paint too good a picture. My dad, he just stayed out of it. He’d been married long enough to know what was good for him.
The interviewer knew what was going on, I could tell. She went through the motions but knew I would not be getting support from my family if I were to attend her school, and when she left, I knew I’d never hear from her again.
Even before the door closed my mom was rounding up the coffee mugs. I watched her sprint to the sink with them and violently empty the leftovers, as if they were toxic. The way loss can be toxic. She ran the water on high and watched as the risk of losing something she loved was forced down the drain.
I knew not to talk to her about it at that moment, so I found my dad instead. I spoke to him as if both my parents could hear. At eighteen you can not be too dramatic.
“Why did you do that Dad? You guys ruined that for me! How could you!?”
My dad mumbled something about it not being a safe job, or I wouldn’t like it, or something to that effect, but all I heard was; “Yes, we sabotaged you”.
I hated them for a while, and I’ll bet you’re thinking; “They shouldn’t have done that. We all need to make our own choices” and I’m sure you’re right. But you know what? I wish my mom were around today to worry about me. I probably wouldn’t listen to her any more today than I ever did, but how awesome it would be to hear her say, “Denise, that’s not a good idea. You should reconsider.”
Yes, a mother’s love can be over-bearing, over-protective and over-whelming, but I want it back. Because it’s also irreplaceable.
I fly today but I am not a big fan of it. To be honest, I can’t believe I ever wanted to become a flight attendant! Maybe my Mom knew something I didn’t. 😉