June 17, 2010

I Should Be Packing

Ten minutes ago there were 600 words sitting in this box. Six hundred words that I decided were not worthy of publishing. They didn't merit exposure to the the light of day so with a simple point-and-click I eliminated them, disposed of them and started over.

They displeased me these words. They were awkward and disjointed, ugly and unforgiving. There is a time and place for such things. Sometimes I like to use such constructs because they help to illustrate a picture and moment. They tell tales such things but some tales deserve better than and thus you find yourself traveling down a different path than you would have.

And in the not so different future Traveling Jack and his band will do the same. We'll hit the road and head out for parts known and unknown. Soon we will be stuck among the masses and listening to the captain speak about cruising altitudes, flight instructions and other such things.

The dark haired beauty has already given me instructions for how I am to behave and what she expects of me. If she is nervous she expects me to help her. I asked her if there ever was a time in which I did not and she said no. I smiled and told her that this will be no different.

Her older brother has his own list of questions and requests. He is ready for adventure and wants to make sure that I am as well. I promise him that I am and that whatever comes I shall be ready for it. When I explain to him my plan for dealing with wild animals on the plane he laughs and tells me that was ridiculous.

It has been years since he has flown anywhere so he really doesn't understand how silly the idea of a rhino or tiger charging down the aisle is. Simply no room for it. But he did ask me what I'd do if there were bad guys on the plane. I was saddened to hear him say that- I haven't spoken with him about 9/11 or hijackers in general. I don't know if he really knows anything about that and am relatively confident that if he did I would have heard about it.

But I made my usual promise- bad guys are taken out. Since he is a bigger kid he stopped and asked me if I would kill them. My smile faded and I told him that I haven't any tolerance for people threatening my family. He asked me if that meant that I would kill them. Part of me loved that he followed up on his question, he is growing.

I nodded my head and said that I would do what was required to keep them all safe and that if it meant killing someone I would. It wasn't an exaggeration on my part- father's protect their families. But I also said that I would never do it unless there was no other way.

Because he really doesn't care about what I do as long as he and his sister are protected. That is ok with me. He is excited about flying, but a little nervous.

I didn't tell him that as long as I can remember I have looked for spies at the airport. It used to be a big game for me, a way to pass the time. Since 9/11 it is something that I take a little bit more seriously. I check out the other passengers. Periodically I'll look around the plane and see if anything looks hinky to me. I don't spend a lot of time worrying about it.

Most of my time is devoted to reading/writing/sleeping. But I would be lying if I said that the thought never crosses my mind because it does. Fortunately the odds are that I will never come close to seeing anything like that.

The worst that I have seen on a flight are the drunk passengers that become belligerent and even that is really infrequent. Most of the time the biggest issue is having to deal with being cramped and stuck in a small place for an extended period of time.

In a moment I should begin packing. I haven't done more than take my suitcase in from the garage. I know more or less what I plan on taking so it shouldn't take very long- but it is just one of those things that I don't like doing. Packing is something that just irritates me.

Sometimes I want to be a billionaire so that I don't have to pack. I'll have my own jet, flight crew and plenty of jack to spend on whatever I need wherever I go. Although that is kind of wasteful, so it is probably not what I want to do either.

As a compromise I'll worry about that when I become a billionaire. Sadly, this will probably take me more than five years to accomplish. But who knows, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. It could happen sooner.

Ok, got to run now. Be good and I'll try to check back in later.


Andrea W said...

I got chills reading about the bad guys. Last year my son talked about 9/11 in school. Even though he was then 7 it was the first time we ever talked about it. We moved to Germany the month after he turned four and last year was our first year with him experience it when he could understand. It made me sad because he asked me why anyone would do such a thing?

How do you explain it to a child without destroying their innocent world?
That evil exists and sometimes it finds us and there's nothing we can do about it?

I was pregnant with him when it happened and scared to death for my friends who worked in the city. I couldn't understand it then, I still find it impossible now.

Wishing you and yours safe travels.

Sexandthesingledad said...

Dude. I'm always packing. At least, that's what the ladies tell me. Ha Ha. Happy Fathers Day bro!!! Lakers baby!!!!

Minnesota Mamaleh said...

oh so sad about the "bad guys" question. the rhinos sound much more lovable! sounds like you handled it well, as always.incidentally, before we had kids my husband and i always played the spy lookout game at airports. it's so much scarier with little ones. and, no i don't doubt that a father would do *anything* to protect his family. have a great trip!!

Keith Wilcox said...

I probably would have said "yeah, I'd kill them, and I wouldn't feel sorry about it." perhaps they would have gotten the wrong idea from that :-) .

The JackB said...

It is a very hard discussion to have with children. The need to provide comfort and security without destroying innocence is a hard road to navigate. I have had a couple of conversations along these lines, can't say that they get "easier" but...

The JackB said...

Happy Fathers Day JR

The JackB said...

The Rhinos are more lovable- but would be infinitely harder to deal with on a plane, as I explained to the kids imagine how much chaos they could cause. One pile of rhino crap would be huge. ;)

The JackB said...

I wouldn't feel sorry either. ;)