We board the flight to Milan and find that we have gotten bumped to first class, a luxury I have never experienced before and probably never will again, with wine and soft-spoken attendants and roomy seats and a dinner menu and snacks. Jessica thinks the snacks are fabulous (“We didn’t have to bring them ourselves!”) and she does not sleep at all, even though I warn her about jet lag; her eyes are wide open the whole time. Though she has flown many times before, she has never been overseas and I think she doesn’t want to miss a thing.
I take little cat naps the way I have learned to do in the long years of being her mother, ever-alert to what she needs from me: “Mom,” she’ll say in a low, urgent voice, and I will come instantly awake.
This time she says, “Mom,” and I come out of my nap and say almost immediately, “Yes, darlin’?”
“Just checking,” she says.