Monday, September 29
change of heart
I’m going to England for a few days. I’ve got loads of things to organise there and this week is the perfect time to go. Skye adn Carlo are going to be left to fend for themselves for once. I’ve stocked the fridge up, organised school snacks, school clothes and extra hairclips. I am ready to go, my bag is packed, Carlo is on the way home from work to take me to the airport, Cinzia has arrived to look after Skye and suddenly I’m not sure I want to go at all. How strange.
We’re in the car, stuck in a huge end of weekend traffic jam. According to the standby ticket rules, I should already be checking in by now, before the priority passengers, to get my name on the waiting list. But we’re miles away from the airport. This journey is impossible, I think to myself as I shift in the seat, putting my feet up on the dashboard. The problem is that Positano is an hour and a half away from the nearest city/airport and there is only one road, consisting of one single lane in each direction, between village and city.
“This is stupid,” I say to Carlo, “we’ll never get there in time, let’s go back.” And I mean it. I am suddenly quite happy to go back home and miss the flight.
Of course he becomes even more determined to get me there in time and taking inspiration from this afternoons Grand Prix, hurtles the car through terrifying gaps in the traffic, in true neopolitan fashion until he pulls up with a satisfied grunt outside the airport. With a heavy heart I take my bags from the car and head over to the check in desk while he parks the car.
As always when travelling on standby my ticket cannot be confirmed until everyone else on the flight has arrived. We have an hour to wait so head upstairs to the restaurant area and sit down. Next thing I now, tears are welling up in me eyes ands the last thing I want to do is take that flight. Carlo looks at me with his head tilted. He sits down beside me and hugs me.
“What’s the matter? This isn’t like you.”
I don’t really know what the matter with me is. But I have to say something so I tell him how for some reason I worry that we’ll crash and die on the way to the airport leaving Skye an orphan, or my plane will crash and I’ll die and never see either of them again, or while I’m in the UK Vesuvius will explode and I won’t be able to get back and find them… I always love going back to England; I’ve been doing it regularly for 15 years and never had a reaction like this. What’s wrong with me?
He just calmy replies, “don’t go then, stay with me and we’ll go home. Nobody is forcing you to go, it’s OK. I worry about those things too when you go away. I didn’t used to, but more recently I’ve started worrying too. Come on,” he says, getting up and holding out his hand, “let’s go home.”
We walked back down to check in. I told them I had changed my mind and didn’t want to go anymore, so they took my name off the list and handed me back my ticket, which I could use another time. We drove back home, talking all the way about our fears and our wishes, our needs and our ideas. The next morning I climbed into Skyes bed and woke her.
“Mummy!” she exclaimed in surprise, “what are you doing here? I thought you’d gone to Grandads?”
“I know, but I decided that I wanted to stay with you and Daddy instead.” I hugged her tightly.
“Oh, OK, well we can go together the next time” she told me, sleepily.
“Yes, next time we’ll go together.”
at 10:49 AM