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Even casual port-swillers here will be well aware of my intense fear and dislike of flying, and those of you who pay somewhat more careful attention will recall that from time to time I have wondered aloud how I was going to go about introducing the gels to it without also handing on to them my phobia.  Mrs. R and I have discussed this on several occassions and, at least as of last Christmas, I had thought that we had arrived at an arrangement whereby she would periodically take each of them solo for a long weekend down to Florida to visit grandparents and great-grandparents.  

Well, so much for staying in the loop.

What with spring break arriving at St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method and the local public system today, Mrs. R announced a couple weeks ago that she was planning to take the whole lot of them at once for said trip to Florida to visit grandparents and great-grandparents.

None of the gels has been on a plane since their infancy.

I have remarked to Mrs. R several times since she made these plans that I believe her to be quite out of her mind.

Nonetheless, after an extremely restless night, I duly found myself dropping my brood off at Dulles this morning.  The eleven year old is obviously nervous.  “Um, I think I might be afraid of heights, Dad. What do I do?” she said. “Don’t look out the window,” I replied.  On the other hand, the nine year old said, “Oh, Daddy, it’s always been my dream to go above the clouds! I can’t wait!”  As for the seven year old? “I get my own tee vee in the seat back? Really? Cool!”

I do hope they are able to keep their excitement in check.  While I love them all dearly, I can also quite easily see them as the sort of children I most loathe when flying myself.  To this end, I duly lectured them about consideration, manners and being on their best behavior, but now that they’ve crossed through security, of course there’s not anything I can really do about it.

Needless to say, I’m not going to be good for much of anything until I’ve received word that they’re safely down on the other end.  My apologies if I am more than unusually incoherent today.

St. Christopher, ora pro nobis!

UPDATE: Yes, I know all about FlightAware and yes, I’m tracking them.  They just took off.  I feel ill. AND my palms are sweating on their behalf.

UPDATE DEUX:   Spoke to the gels a while ago just after they landed.  The unanimous verdict? “That was AWESOME!”

Whew.  Laus Deo.

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