“What I wouldn’t do for twelve hours all to myself!” my friends with very small children say, wistfully.
Instead of seeming like a punishment, the thought of being on a plane for longer than most of us work during the day, is viewed as a dream come true, provided there are no little ones to attend to.
“I could read if I wanted to,” they say, “and then if I feel like sleeping why I can just…sleep!”
And I can see their point. I really can.
To be a mother of small children means time is never your own so to suddenly find yourself alone on a Transatlantic flight would be a ticket to freedom.
And then, after you’ve rested and caught up on People Magazine, you can go home to your husband and children!
But when you’re alone all the time and you find yourself surrounded by countless lovey-dovey couples and families, traveling isn’t so freeing.
And the hours inch by. I mean, I don’t need to spend an entire day and part of the night on a freezing cold vessel shooting through that nowheresville between heaven and earth just to …read. I can read at home, thank you very much.
But my point isn’t to complain about flying. My point is to complain about what flying does to my skin.
No, my point is that life is funny. Because it always seems to be too much of one thing. Being parents to little children means being exhausted and spread thin all the time. And being single all the time means you have the freedom to do what you like, but you also have no one to share it with you.
So which is better?
I suppose part of getting older is realizing there is no one magic answer to anything. Everything comes at a cost. So the question really should be: Which is more important? Freedom or family?
Which is another way of saying, I love my freedom, and in particular my New Yorker Magazine, but I would love to have a family more.
Which is really another way of saying, Oh to long for the days when I had so much time on my hands!