Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Planes are Coming Up, Planes are Going Down

The Christmas season didn't really end for us until yesterday morning. That's when our son left to go back to his life as the Chief Flight Instructor for Border City Aviation. I missed him as soon as I lost sight of him going through security ....*sigh*. Our daughter and son-in-law had left ten days earlier. They arrived before he did, so we had time just with them too. But, now they were all gone. The apartment would be quiet again. The gloom of the rain-filled, early morning bus ride from Tegel airport back to Berlin Alexanderplatz reflected my inner most feelings.

Since this was both Johnathan's and Johnny's first time to Berlin, the previous three weeks had kept us busy showing them the sights, doing touristy things, and of course celebrating Christmas. And it was a wonderful Christmas indeed. Our dream come true Christmas, with memories to cherish forever.

We did many things as a group of five, such as the Berlin Zoo visit and the Natural History Museum, and sometimes pairing off for shopping or visiting sights not everyone was interested in. "What does everyone want to do today/next," was a question that was frequently asked.  It became clear to me again how very different my two children are from each other. Or, at least their interests.

Johnny loves flying and anything aviation related...has ever since he received a Fisher Price Airplane for Christmas one year as a very young child. T, on the other hand, loves to seek out particular shops, something we did when she was here with me on her own, something that would probably never even show up on Johnny's radar. The visit to the Technical Museum was probably the only activity that they both thoroughly enjoyed, but for very different reasons. She for the printing presses and he for the the two floors of aviation displays.

Within a day of Johnny's arrival and receiving his residency papers (yes papers, because that sped up the process for him renewing his EU Passport while here), he was brave and confident enough to venture out and start exploring the city on his own. I was thrilled and nervous at the same time. He discovered things that I didn't know existed here, and then took me to see them. Very cool. In the nearly three weeks that he was here, he became so familiar with the public transit system that he ended up telling me different ways to get around. But, as a pilot, I guess navigation is second nature to him. Whereas, I am, and will probably always be, directionally impaired (as my family calls it).

One of Johnny's "musts" for his trip here was to visit a flight school. Mission accomplished. He talked to fellow pilots and flight instructors and found out about licensing and license transferring and differences in the aviation industry between Canada and Germany/EU. He had hoped to fly here and even booked a flight, but the flight school's scheduling and weather conditions prevented that. There's always next time. I'm sure he'll be back, probably sooner rather than later. He seems to fit in here; I witnessed a little old lady asking him for directions in German and he replied in German with the proper directions.

It may be that we all end up in Europe together some day. It's not out the realm of possibility, since we're all German citizens, and legally allowed to live and work here. Maybe that's the way we could be physically closer to each other again.

I believe you never stop being a mom. Some days I even feel that it was easier when they were two and four instead of 28 and 30. I've even admitted that to them, and they smile at me, and allow me to "mother" them, or pull the "because I'm the mom" card on them, if even for a few days. It could be the physical distance between all of us; scattered about as we are. But, I have to admit, as much as I enjoy the freedom of being an empty-nester, and as I've mentioned before in my blogs, I miss having them physically close.

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