At this moment I am sitting on the plane en route to Teterboro and the Big City. Probably somewhere over Virginia right now. I didn't want to leave you hanging so I'll share some happenings around the house.
J and I have talked through the plan of how I'm going to keep her safe so that she can relax and enjoy the trip. The configuration of the plane is that the back two seats face forward, the middle seats face forward and the front seats face the middle and back seats. G & I always sit in the middle seats so J will sit in the seat facing me so that she can hold my hands and look in my eyes if she's scared. Plus it'll be a quick jump if she needs to get into my lap. Since 9/11 it takes a really long time to descend to the airport. This means she'll get to view the skyline of NYC for a good while. John and John (father & son pilots) are always extra cautious but they will let her come look out the cockpit windows if it's safe. She's had a little flying practice so this should be fun for her.
I've shown her pictures of our divine hotel room from online so that she'll know the set up and that Daddy G's room is right beside ours. She's also seen pictures of the restaurant and all the places we'll be visiting so it won't be too scary. I hope.
Sidenote: J has earned the privilege to be alone with the pets. Wednesday evening J went by herself onto the back deck to pet Stud (cat). She came back in the house very quietly. Too quiet for J. I asked her what was wrong and all she kept saying nothing was the matter. I knew better. She walked straight through the house and into the garage to go out the front of the house. I walked outside and put my arms around her. She started sobbing. Real genuine tears. I asked her what was wrong again and she said, "the cat bit me and I was being so nice to him." After I consoled her I explained that cats will sometimes bite you (you know the gently, playing bite) because they like you. (I had asked if it was a hard bite or gentle bite.) Then she felt much better and went back to pet the cat.
Last night she plopped down on the floor (right in front of me) to pet Puddin and accidently hit Puddin's paw and Puddin yelped. I consoled Puddin first and made sure she was ok then had J apologize to Puddin. She very quietly went to her room afterward. I went in her room and she was sitting on her bed facing away from me. She motioned her hand for me to go away and softly said, "please go away." I picked her up and sat her in my lap and she started sobbing so hard. "I didn't mean to hurt Puddin. I promise it was an accident. I would never hurt Puddin again. She's going to hate me forever because I broke the promise." Of course I told her that I knew it was an accident blah, blah, blah.
Later I told her how proud I was that she cried over Puddin because that meant she was becoming more like a normal kid because that's what a normal kid would do. She was very happy over that. I can't tell you how much it warms my heart to see genuine tears. Twice in 24 hours is a record!