If we were totally honest about our emotions, we’d all be wailing.
Not just the distraught babies in the arms of their distraught mothers on the long flights Р and the short flights that seem long.
All of us.
Because we’re all upset by the confined space we have to tuck ourselves into for hours and because of the affronts we had to go through to get there.
The time on an airplane can be rough. No place to stretch out, to lie down, to run around. The time in boarding-pass lines and baggage drop-off lines and security lines and scanner lines, the time pressures and the travel stresses can just take it out of us and by the time we get to our 2-foot by 4-foot space, we’ve had it.
But we’re mostly too old to wail, so we just grit our teeth and talk under our breaths as we get annoyed with TSA and the slow guy in front of us in line and the wailing baby next to us on the plane.
There’s something refreshing about not knowing any better than to let everybody know how you’re feeling.
If you’re hungry, if you’re tired, if you’re frightened, if you’re annoyed. Just let it all out.
Those first few months of life are months lacking in most any kind of restraint.
And then we learn.
And no doubt it’s good that we do.
We learn how to ask for things.
We learn not to grab stuff from other people.We learn not to throw tantrums when we don’t get our way.
At least most of us do.
And that’s what makes us civilized.
But I’ve gotta say I can totally relate when my 18-month-old grandson stomps his feet because his mom tells him he can’t have ice cream before dinner.
And it brings a smile to my face that I have to work hard to hide when my three-year-old granddaughter walks over to a spot away from everyone else and puts her head on the sand when being forced to share the sand bucket she thought was all hers.
We could see every stage at our recent family gathering Р the full-out scream from a six-month old, the noisy stomp from an 18-month old, the quiet, introspective anger from a three-year old.
It’s nice to be so old you don’t mind (too much) eating dessert in its proper order or sharing with someone who wants something badly.
It’s nice to have learned how to deal with situations out of your control and how to manage situations that can be managed.
It’s nice to be so adult you never appear to be angry or sad at all.
But it’s also nice to be around little people who feel intensely and let it be known.
Maybe I don’t mind it because this time around, I’m not the one who has to teach them differently.
Maybe it just seems right because it’s so honest.