It was raining when we left, so what should have been a 45 minute car ride turned into 2 hours on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (the BQE). Edie held it together pretty well, and through the security at the airport where I had to take her out of the carrier or be patted down--me and the baby. We even were doing okay as everyone else loaded onto the plane.
Then we started taxiing down around the tarmac, and things kind of fell apart. Edie came undone. She wanted nothing, nothing but to be free of the steel armor of JetBlue's commercial jet. She started crying, and James and I started sweating. We had said nothing to each other, but I knew neither one of us wanted to be the people on the plane with the inconsolable baby. We didn't want to be the source of conversation for people on their way home from the airport. So we tried everything. We bounced, we soothed, we sang, we passed her back and forth between us like a hot potato.
And I had a revelation: this is the point of parenthood--to humiliate us. To take people who previously considered themselves "with it" or "together", people who usually sat back with their iPods and coolly appraising looks and let them know that, no, in fact they do not have it together. I want to say it was awful, but it was actually sort of refreshing. Like starting over. Nothing to prove.
Also, the flight is only about an hour to North Carolina, which is just about the right amount of time to feel philosophical and not like you want to kill yourself.
Eventually Edie simmered down, and she spent the rest of the flight watching the food network with no sound, where she watched people make recipes she will never try.
Just like her mother.