Strangers on a plane.

by mssinglemama on March 12, 2008

plane.jpgThere are a few reasons why I love flying. The clouds. The fact that I’m flying somewhere. And the strangers fate might plop me next to. There’s always that baited anticipation as you approach your seat number. Every once in a blue moon I get seated next to a really funny person, a really gorgeous guy or my favorite, a wise old man who talks my head off about the mysteries of life.

This weekend I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I just wanted to sleep my way to Chicago where I would connect to home and to Benjamin. Southwest took fate away from all of us and lets you choose your seat. Very interesting new dynamic. But, hey, I’m always up for choosing my fate. So there I am in the aisle – looking, looking … basically looking for someone else who looks sleepy and not smelly. And then I saw her. Peeking out from under her daddy’s legs – a little girl just about Benjamin’s age.

“Oooohhhh” I said, “Can I sit here?”

“Sure!” Her dad looked at me like I was nuts. I mean who wants to sit next to a toddler on a plane? Me! Me! Please! So I jumped right in there. We dove into a game of peek-a-boo as I explained to her dad that I was a mom, desperately missing my son and not a crazy person.

Eventually she snuggled into her dad’s chest – and dozed off. Her little legs were sprawled out on his lap. His arms were wrapped tightly around her so she wouldn’t wake up. Good dad. And then he stroked her hair, kissed her forehead and fell asleep. His head on hers.

Okay, so here’s the really freaky part…When they were sleeping I imagined (just for a nano-second) that they were mine. That I had this amazing husband who was cuddling up with my child so I could have a break. Or in this case, flying off a day ahead of his wife so she could have fun in Austin. There it was – a father loving his daughter more than anything.

I guess that’s a rare sight for a single mom. Like the 8th wonder of the world or something.

[photo credit:]

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Half-Past Kissin' Time March 12, 2008 at 2:02 am

This is a beautiful post.

However, I have to disagree…I don’t think having a hot guy sit next to me on a plane is good; it’s just too close for comfort for me, even if he’s adorable (plus, I’m married 🙂 I’d rather sit with a little kid 🙂 They are very entertaining if you know how to handle them.


mutterfly March 12, 2008 at 2:37 am

As an only-child of a single-mom when I see a Dad with such affection for his children I find it weird. It’s weird because I don’t recognize it not because I’m longing for it. It’s a different world – it’s that kids world – and I have my very own…..which I wouldn’t ever trade.


mssinglemama March 12, 2008 at 3:18 am

Half-Past Kissin’ Time – you’re right – kids are way better than hot guys.

Mutterfly – I’m not longing for it. Just in the moment – just thought about it. I would never trade my world either…never. Because his father was a lousy husband…and the father verdict is still very much up in the air.


Mari February 3, 2015 at 3:08 am

thanks a lot for all these wonderful tips but as now fagun maas is over so not plobisse to do this pooja….upto next year. so humble REQUEST….. is please try to upload tips early & on time so that we all may take benefit of these important thitis & pooja -paath ….thanks…HARI OM…….


ana.biosis March 12, 2008 at 1:33 pm

i think it sounded sweet and adorable!

I have imaginary visions all the time…. just away to escape reality sometimes….


Elena February 4, 2015 at 10:24 am

I did some checking on fghlit lessons here in town. $9500 for the course. Expensive. Although with some saving and discipline could be a reality someday. I live in Grand Forks, home of The University of North Dakota, known especially for our aviation school. An old college roomate went to it, and is now a pilot for Delta flying the Airbus 330 (I believe). The ultralight option is a good idea. I didn’t think about that. It may be more realistic for me at this time.BTW Nota, that is one of my all-time favorite poems. First time I heard it was after the Challenger dissaster in 1986. It has been stored in my memory ever since. When I first read it, I thought it was about a man who died and was on his way to Heaven. I still like to think that’s what it is really about.


dadshouse March 12, 2008 at 3:50 pm

As a single dad who loves his kids more than anything, I’d rather be considered normal than an eighth wonder. I suppose we’ll get there someday…


toddfromaustin March 12, 2008 at 6:56 pm

This is a bright light in a dark world! keep up the sweet stories that keep hope going. And I live in Austin and love it here… 11yrs. now


a broad March 12, 2008 at 7:01 pm

loved your piece. I am too a mom and would rather sit next to a kid on a plane than a strange adult! Although I do have the husband that would sit like that with one of our two kids, I have know that you don’t need it to make your children happy, you seem to be doing a good job on your own! well done!


mssinglemama March 12, 2008 at 10:51 pm

Ana – thanks sweetie!

Dad’s House – it’s true – I think for us single moms, seeing a dad with his kids that up, close and personal is a rarity. We’ll have to have a single parent party!

Todd – Nice! I LOVE Austin. Thanks for the amazing compliment!

A Broad – Thanks for the encouragement!

My readers ROCK!!!!


dadshouse March 12, 2008 at 10:56 pm

I love parties! I’ll bring the bushwackers..


A.Ho March 13, 2008 at 12:54 am



homepaige March 13, 2008 at 2:51 am

Wow – your talent is pretty endless, huh? As usual, your thoughts are as great on paper as when you are actually speaking them. Wonder what medium you’ll conquer next!!!


singlemomseeking March 13, 2008 at 4:06 am

I met my daughter’s father on an airplane, flying from NYC to Amsterdam. He’d been bumped out of his seat and I offered the one next to mine. Oh boy. As we flew and flirted, I imagined having a child with him one day, all of us traveling the world. Well, so far Mae and I have been all over the U.S., as well as Mexico and Morocco… without him.

As everyone said here, I love how open you are about your fantasy. Thanks!


mssinglemama March 13, 2008 at 2:06 pm

A-Ho – Yeah! Prety funny! I bet he thought I wanted to kidnap her. : )

Single Mom Seeking – wow! That’s right – I remember reading that in your book. Magic does happen in the air…


Hanna March 13, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Aww I think deep down, part of me cried a little. Everytime I see one of those good dads, there is this burning pain (jealousy, bitterness, hurt?) that makes me wonder why I had to pick a man who would rather be with another woman than be with his daughter.

I totally share your fantasy, even if it makes me sad.


mssinglemama March 14, 2008 at 12:29 am

Yeah Hanna – I hear you. It is kind of sad that our ex-husbands are such losers. But – hey – we live and we learn, right? I feel worse for Benjamin than myself – that’s for sure. Just the fact that he doesn’t have a great dad like that. : (


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