Robb and I were flying somewhere on our own, long before the days of traveling with strollers and carseats and board books and goldfish crackers and a smile that asks forgiveness from everyone around us.
Unbeknownst to me, he planned a surprise for our flight: he upgraded our tickets to first class.
It’s the one and only time I have ever flown first class, and I was so unaccustomed to it that I didn’t really know how to appreciate it.
“Oh, but the leg room,” boasted my broad, long husband. I couldn’t reach the footrest on the seat in front of me.
“And the food!” I had packed my own favorite snacks.
I do have to give it to him: the steaming warm cloth to refresh the pores of my weary traveling face? This was a nice luxury.
But here’s the thing: I’m a ‘nester.’ I love a space that’s just big enough for me. When I was a little girl, I loved to make a little cave under a desk or behind a bookshelf. Just enough space for me.
When we were on a family road trip, I loved to be in the ‘way back’ with luggage packed around me. Just enough space for me.
Roadtrips are similar for me, even now. I bring a blanket or hoodie or small pillow, something to fill the space with me, and I keep all my bags tucked around my feet.
I’ve been known to stack pillows around me if the comfy chair is too wide; I sleep on my side with pillows at my back, since there is currently nobody to occupy the space. I like to be in a space made for me, just big enough.
I’m a nester.
On that first class flight, I was downright unhappy. You can perhaps imagine the point of contention this caused between the gracious husband who had splurged to surprise, and the wife who chose airline seats with a pickiness similar to the Princess and the Pea.
But I think I get it now, all these years later.
One person can only do so much. There are limits to what one person can do alone, finish alone, plan for alone, and accomplish alone.
It’s just really hard for one person to fill a space made for two.