7:30am flight, up since 5am. Sitting next to c. 40yr old man. He is fashionably dressed and exudes a hip and thoughtful vibe: artistic glasses, fashionably cut hair, perfectly distressed jeans.
Across the aisle is his family: equally fashionable and coiffed wife sitting in between c. 6yr old son and active and charming c. 4yr old daughter. Mom is tirelessly interacting with kids, reading books, playing word games ("What letter does cat start with? What letter does apple start with? Yes! You got it!").
I am simultaneously thinking two contradictory thoughts: on the one hand, how sweet and lively the scene is across the aisle, and on the other hand, how in my mind, the dad got the prime seat by himself and how the mom got the mush pot between the two kids.
In a way, though, his situation was sad: he was on the outside, quiet and alone. Perhaps the kids chose to sit with mom. But then there she was, doing lots of work (making it look easy), likely up very early, not able to relax, read, shut her eyes. Instead, having to make up endlessly interesting tasks for 4yr old mind. She really did seem to be enjoying it too. Why not?
The dad slept, read his kindle. I slept (Kadin, sitting next to me, also slept), did a crossword puzzle (Kadin helped a bit, played on his DS). But I was drawn to the energy on the other side of the aisle, even as I was so glad not to be in the middle of it.
Is it really that simple, just a swivel of attitude to change something from a burden to fulfilling enjoyment? How could she not be achingly tired? Resentful even? Could I embrace such moments? Revel in the love and liveliness? Boy, was I glad to get some sleep and have older, self-amusing kids, and yet...