168883089I never fly with my entire family at the same time. I learned this from my ex’s fiancé’s parents, years ago, before I became a mother. His parents will never fly on the same plane with their only child, even now. And he’s 48. Why? Because if, god forbid, and sorry to be so morbid, but if something went wrong (you can imagine all the scenarios) then at least their only son, who they love like no other, would still be alive.

This may be twisted thinking for some, but I totally get it. In fact, when they go to the same destination, his parents will go on an earlier flight, and then he will go on a later flight, on the same day. I’ve adopted this practice, since becoming a mother. On a recent family vacation to Mexico, it was a bit of a gong show, to say the least, booking tickets for everyone in our blended family. I left first with my daughter, then a day later my nanny (who is like a family member) left with our baby, and then the day after that, my fiancé brought down his two girls. That’s three flights, to the same place, in three consecutive days. The chances of something going wrong (hijacking, crash, etc.) becomes less minimal, and at least, if I die (sorry, again, to be so morbid, but once you become a mother, the worry never stops!) the children will have at least one parent to raise them and take care of them.

There are other, more superficial reasons, as well, like who would take care of my ex-fiancé’s parent’s businesses, or my fiancé’s business if they were gone. If I died in a plane crash, or my fiancé did, since we’re not on the same flight, at least I know my son would be well taken care of by one of us. Yes, I take my daughter with me, but that’s only because she’s ten, and my good luck charm (My daughter is, enviably, one of those humans who is always lucky at everything!) and I don’t really trust just  airport employees, who are supposed to look out for your children on the plane if they are travelling alone. How many stories have we read that children, under supposed supervision, ended up in Vegas when they were supposed to end up in Barbados? When she’s older, like 18, you can bet I will not be travelling on the same plane as her, even, in fact, when she’s 48. We’ll just meet up later, the same day, after taking different flights. Sure, she’ll be sad if I die. But I want her to live more than I do and she’ll understand that. I want my son to live more than I do, and though he’s only 18 months, he’ll too eventually understand. What mother wouldn’t give up their own lives for their child’s?

This may seem very far-fetched to many to worry so much about being on the same flight. And, it is. But I cannot live with the thought that if our entire family traveled on the same flight and something happened. It would be a tragedy of the greatest degree, with grandparents and family and friends lives completely changed to lose an entire seven person family. My fiancé too has gotten on board with my way of thinking. His girls are old enough to travel alone (although we still send the nanny with them) but he now realizes at least they’ll still have a loving mother for his girls, if his plane goes down.

This isn’t ideal. I mean, any one of our three flights could go down (I hate writing all this morbid stuff!) even with the children and us, but at least there’s a better chance that the children will be taken care of (Because, how often do three planes go down in three days?) There are holes in this theory, of course. What if the children’s planes went down with one of the parents? But I do think it’s worse for an entire family to go down. Which is why I’m adamant that we don’t travel all together.

The one and only thing I demand of my daughter’s father, when she travels with him, is that he lets me know immediately when they land. And he does as soon as the plane hits the runway. And I sigh a breath of relief, as if I had been holding my breath for five hours, which I have. I do the same for him, when I travel with my daughter. And, yes, on the way back, there will also be three flights, leaving within two days, with our blended family. We will all be separated again. I just want my children, and my fiancé’s children, to have the greatest chance of survival. This may sound completely nutty, but at least I know I have put some thought into travelling, and that our children will at least have one parent, who will take care of them. Even now, if I travel with just my fiancé, I insist on different flights. This way, if something goes wrong, I know that our son will be taken care of by one of us, and his girls have a loving mother to take care of them, and my daughter has a loving father to take care of her. Yes, this is a completely morbid way of thinking, but for me, there’s no other alternative.

(Image: getty images)