I open up my journal to write, put pen to paper, and before I realize it an hour of my flight has slipped by. I put down my journal and pick up a copy of Southwest magazine.
I booked a flight from New York to Milwaukee the morning of because I learned our surrogate in Milwaukee was going into labor five weeks early. Fortunately, my husband was already there. When the flight attendants discovered what was happening, they could not have been more excited for us. The baby was born during the flight, but thankfully, the WiFi was amazing. Event though I couldn’t be there, I was getting realtime updates and pictures of the delivery room. Flight attendant Tabitha Taulbee Cotton also knitted a blanket during the flight–the baby’s first gift! I will never forget being on a Southwest flight while my first child was being born. I am grateful to Tabitha and her colleagues for making what could have been a nightmare into something smooth, easy, and memorable. We will always treasure the blanket and the story that comes with it.
When I read the word surrogate I recognize a synchronicity that says to me,
Yes, there is no doubt. You are meant to be a passenger on this plane.
I also recognize that this year I’ve been pregnant once again, caring for my son and giving birth to an opportunity for he and I to find meaning within our story.
The phone rings and it’s my surrogate son. He wants to talk by phone. We end up talking for a couple of hours. I share his birth story. He shares his concern for me. His desire to connect with his birth mother. Turns out he’s been diagnosed with melanoma and has had two surgeries to remove the cancer. His 30th birthday is approaching.
William is in hospital after doctors discover his melanoma has spread to his lungs.
New Birth, New Beginnings
Nine months has passed since our January conversation, William calls to tell me that he will be undergoing brain surgery. I ask him if he would like me to journey and meet for the first time.
Notes from my Journal:
I am on the Dungeness Shuttle. Left Port Angeles at 6am. The driver says, there are seven on the manifest.
Listening to the recorded safety features the driver plays, I hear, Sit back and enjoy the trip.
The most difficult part of labor is transition.
Returning home on a Southwest flight I heard the familiar,
We realize you have many choices in air travel. Thank you for choosing Southwest Airlines.
As I listened I began to think of the many choices I make everyday to discover new ways to play in the everyday.
I write in my journal my belief that…
The Art of Playing in the Everyday is a daily practice that concerns itself with soulfulness in small details of living and with changes and major decisions.
By writing and sharing this part of my playful journey, I am attending to the Soul of Lived Experience.
My hope is that the beautiful dance that I am living and sharing through my writing and play-based work offers you the opportunity to dance in the waters of renewal and creativity.
After years of writing my personal narrative, many deep, interwoven conversations, visual journaling, and performance…in less than a week…
I will say his name * meet him in-person * hold him in my arms.