My View For Awhile: Heading Home Edition

Now that I’m over my jet lag it’s time to head westward.

We are almost finished boarding and two seats are open by me.

It’s going to be a long one this time, longer than usual.  There must be fierce headwinds.  Sigh.   I have a long layover so i’m not worried about my connection, especially with expedited entry at customs. But I’m going to be beat when I get home.


No luck.   This could be bad.   The kid might be 3.


The less said about the kid the better.   Let’s just say that it wasn’t an easy ride.

I did get some reading done about Fatima.   Every time I review it it never fails to amaze and challenge.

I saw a movie – don’t recall the title – about the contribution of three black women to the early NASA Mercury program.

The food was hideous, so I passed on it.  But there was very little turbulence and we got in a bit early.  Customs and baggage was, basically, a walk through.  Re-security, on the other hand, was made unpleasant by constant shouting of TSA types.  It irritates me to see older people, who might not be quite as familiar as the TSA agents are with the process, badgered in that way without a “please” or any other courteous phrase.  I actually wrote out a comment card.


Finally boarding for the flight home.

This is the farthest back i’ve been in a plane for a long time. The trip was booked rather late so I get what I get.

A long layover sometimes feels like a hangover.  When I do these international trips during the last couple hours I’m running pretty much on adrenaline and caffeine.  It feels like I have Star Trek creatures crawling around inside my legs.

This crowd tonight are clearly battle hardened travellers.   The boarding is swift.  


My bag was loaded onto my flight!  Yay!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Mary Jane says:

    Safe travels home, Father! Hubby and I have a three year old who can be very quiet. Then again, we’ve never taken him on a plane… :-D Kids can sleep through just about anything – you might get lucky and the child might sleep most of the trip!

  2. mike cliffson says:

    Not even to be THOUGHT except in understanding prolife circles. the mother of four rumbunctious close smalls used to mutter in stressed-out moments “Herod ! where are you when you’re needed?!”

  3. Aman4allseasons says:

    Last time my wife and I flew with our (then) 2 year old, we were dreading the flight and the havoc that might happen. I could see the look of apprehension on the faces of those around us. Haha. It was the opposite experience. Our little guy excitedly talked about the propellers (in an incomprehensible 2 y.o. babble that only parents can understand) and other airplanes he could see out the window. Then, he fell asleep mid-bite with his hand in a snack bag when the engine spooled up. Slept the entire way – Deo gratias! We also got through security super fast because they pulled us into the express lane! I imagine he would’ve been too excited to sleep if a priest sat next to him. :)

  4. APX says:

    Not all 3 year olds are annoying. My nephew’s 3 and he’s more well-behaved than many 7 and 8 year old boys, and is intelligent enough to engage people in intelligent conversation.

    [Perhaps that 3 year old should have been on this flight.]

  5. Charles E Flynn says:

    It will be all right, Father Z. The kid is not in the cockpit.

    Air Disasters: SEASON 6: EPISODE 9: Kid in the Cockpit

  6. Phil_NL says:

    Bon courage, mon père.

    And don’t forget, if the 3 year old knocks over your water, splashing you and himself, he’s merely indicating a subconscious desire for baptism. Other fluids might indicate he is practicing extreme unction. If he pinches you, and then listens what sounds you make, he might be training to hear confessions. If he slaps you, rejoice! He is practicing confirmation in the traditional style. Others may say he plays with his food, but if he does so reverently with bread (surely no wine yet), you know what he’s really up to.

    In short, encourage his vocation, you never know he might become a cardinal one day!

  7. My Marine thinks you are great. She ( Corporal) said, tell Father to “EMBRACE THE SUCK”. Marine style . oooRAH! ;)

  8. anniemw says:

    We must be pro-life, even on planes…

    [And that means… what? I have some concern about siting next to someone else’s out-of-control child, dressed in clerical clothing for 10 hours and that makes me… what? Not pro-life? As it turns out, the kid was indeed out of control for many hours… or maybe in control, I’m not sure which.]

  9. Seattle Slough says:

    Father, no brawling.

  10. Gaetano says:

    Offer it up and give thanks for the opportunity to exercise pardon & patience.

  11. graytown says:

    Fr Z,

    I understand completely.
    It is on long plane rides where you also find out the parenting technique of Mom and Dad.
    If the child knows no boundaries at home, then the plane ride becomes a hostage crisis.
    The parents are reduced to helpless witnesses as their urchin makes public fools out of them.

  12. Julia_Augusta says:

    A lot of people are out of control these days – TSA included – because we no longer have standards of behaviour. When TSA thugs behave like beasts, they can expect the passengers to behave like beasts, too. In the last week, there have been a lot of videos of brawls among passengers in airports and on planes. Treat people inhumanely and they become inhuman. If you think you can behave any way you like, then everyone else can too. Result: anarchy.

    Regarding children’s public behaviour: haven’t you noticed that many parents think that the child is the head of the household and not the other way around? The entire family schedule is run around the child’s whims. The child is catered to like a little prince. Disciplining children today is akin to child abuse, according to the latest child-rearing bestseller books, all of which are written by charlatans who never have to suffer from the consequences of their rotten advice.

    RESULT: out of control children who grow up into out of control adults.

    By the way, this is not solely an American phenomenon. I see it everywhere now – in Europe and Asia (except Japan where children are mysteriously well-behaved by Western standards).

  13. Movie was ‘Hidden Figures’

    Great story, and had a chance a few years ago, to talk with Dorothy Vaughn…inspiring story of persistence in the face of naked prejudice (having grown up in the early 60s in southern VA, can remember the ‘Whites Only’ signs and ‘colored’ elementary school a few miles from where I attended school.

  14. Charles E Flynn says:

    The movie:

    From The True Story of ‘Hidden Figures’ and the Women Who Crunched the Numbers for NASA, by Matt Blitz, for Popular Mechanics:

    As Shetterly wrote in her book and explained in a September NPR interview, Glenn did not completely trust the computer. So, he asked the head engineers to “get the girl to check the numbers… If she says the numbers are good… I’m ready to go.”

  15. MrsMacD says:

    @graytown Not so fast! I might paddle my darling with a wooden spoon at home but I wouldn’t dream of doing it on a plane, someone might report me to the spaking police and then I’d be punished! Different kids are different. Sometimes parents are rendered somewhat helpless by the spanking police, or the lollipop grandmas who think every crying child should get a lollipop.

    @ Fr. Z [chuckle] I think I get what anniemw was getting at, if everybody wants to kill our children why shouldn’t we?

  16. Charles E Flynn says:

    If the following text were written in Latin, would it be clear (or likely to be less ambiguous) whether the adjectival phrase “dressed in clerical clothing for 10 hours” refers to the child or the author?:

    And that means… what? I have some concern about siting next to someone else’s out-of-control child, dressed in clerical clothing for 10 hours and that makes me…

  17. KatieL56 says:

    And Jesus said, “Suffer the little children”. . .
    and you did.

    My sympathy. I’m raising a 4-1/2 and a 6 year old (both boys) and despite prayer, holy water, prayer, constant gentle and firm guidance, prayer, more holy water, teaching, prayer, and did I mention prayer, I end my days exhausted, often shaking, quivering. .. and I LOVE these children. I cannot imagine how it must have felt being confined on those prisons with wings next to an impish, demanding, uncontrolled 3 year old. Yes, we can tell ourselves that the child is even more upset than we are; that he is ‘crying out for help’, it’s a stage, consider the context, yadda yadda so what. It STILL is horrible. I hope it will be long before you go through this again –in fact, I hope you never have to do so. . . Now once you have gotten some sleep, relax, drink that Mystic Monk coffee, look out at the birds, pick up Cardinal Sarah’s “The Power of Silence” (I’m almost through it, and I’m sure during the trip you thought longingly “if only”), and know we’re all praying for you!

  18. APX says:

    [Perhaps that 3 year old should have been on this flight.]

    Yes, and look after the the pre-flight safety presentation regarding needing to wear a seatbelt because if you don’t “you’ll go splat like a pancake” as well as telling everyone who comes from the lavatory, that they “need to wash their hands for personal hygiene”, and just to make things really fun, he’ll go on about the plane crashing via various means.

  19. Fermarc Heri says:

    Safe Travels to you Father Z! :)

  20. Cafea Fruor says:

    “[And that means… what? I have some concern about siting next to someone else’s out-of-control child, dressed in clerical clothing for 10 hours and that makes me… what? Not pro-life? As it turns out, the kid was indeed out of control for many hours… or maybe in control, I’m not sure which.]”

    I totally sympathize with you, Fr. Z. I seem to be a magnet for the out-of-control ones. There always seems to be a Little Terror just one seat ahead of or behind me on every flight or train ride I take. The last transatlantic flight I took, this out-of-control kid screamed and ran the show for 6 out of 7 hours. And the parents did ZILCH to address it. Everyone, especially the poor attendants, walked off that flight looking like beleaguered zombies, and I walked off with no sleep and a migraine. Whenever I complain, everyone tells me, “You’re not pro-life! You hate kids!” as if by “pro-life” we really mean “doormat”. I’m very pro-life, and I love kids. I love my sister’s kids to bits, and I wouldn’t mind being on a flight with them. Unlike seemingly 90% of parents out there, my sister and her husband are clearly in control of their kids, and the kids are happier for having boundaries. I love kids; I just can’t stand parents who inflict their lack of parenting on everyone else around them with the excuse, “But they’re kids!”

    And I’m so tired of hearing, “Offer it up!” in response to every complaint people make. Yes, we do need to offer up our sufferings, but the phrase has gotten to the point of being a Catholic cop-out.
    End rant.

  21. Mary Jane says:

    On the topic of discipline and kids, a couple books I recently read and highly recommend to parents or even to those without children because these books would make great gifts (use Fr Z’s Amazon links! These are available for Kindle and the Kindle iOS app):

    “Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids” by Kim John Payne, and,

    “Advice Worth Ignoring: How Tuning Out the Experts Can Make You a Better Parent” by Dr Ray Guarendi

    Excellent, excellent books. Advice to help parents ensure sure they’re in control of the house and kids (rather than the other way around :). I’m currently reading another by Dr Ray Gaurendi called “Discipline That Lasts a Lifetime: The Best Gift You Can Give Your Kids” and it, too, is excellent. Advice for handling all sorts of behavior that often leaves a parent “stumped”.

  22. Mary Jane says:

    FWIW, I have sat next to “out of control” adults on planes before too – the ones that talk non-stop for 6 hours (not kidding) or the ones that are just plain creepy. Children may have more vocal meltdowns, but adults can get pretty annoying too.

    Mark Lowry gave a great comedy piece about sitting on a plane next to a lady and her toddler…she asks him if he minds if she changes her baby’s diaper right there (instead of taking the baby to the washroom), because “it’s only a wet one”. Mark Lowry responds, “Hey lookie there! You don’t have to change her diaper! It says right there on the box “up to 26 lbs”!

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