Both Sides Now

When Clouds Get in Your Way

jen parker
9 min readMay 3


There is always a rainbow.

For months, my youngest stared at the map of Sesame Place on his ipad, manifesting a trip to this muppet mecca.

The map was a complete and ready made vision board. Full vision, no notes.

I couldn’t blame my son — the place looked bright, cheerful and inviting. Who wouldn’t want to blast off on Elmo’s Rockin’ Rockets? Or get stirred up on the Cookie Monster Mixer?

Given that my son’s 100% on his lifetime manifestation career, I knew we had to go. We planned a trip for his 13th birthday with his best friend and his mom. Two days, one night in an imagination-come-to-life place.

Quick. Easy. Fun.

Except the flight to San Diego was not quick. We aborted landing. Twice. The second time, people in first class heard the alarm bells blare as they do in the movies when land is approaching too quickly and the plot-driving crash is about to happen. Our plane pulled up as if Tom Cruise was in the cockpit, at it again, doing his own stunts, ready to test his spirit’s immortality.

As I sweated, clutched my arm rest, gasped Jesus at every dip, and generally worried about the family the two of us would be leaving behind, my youngest gazed out the window.

He considered the clouds.

How beautiful, he told me. Like flying itself, which was also beautiful. And profound, something that makes us feel human, he told me. I agreed, thinking more of the mortal part of being human, but knowing he meant something larger, happier, more dazzling. He always does.

To him, life feels unlimited. He’s not grounded by thoughts of mortality as so many kids his age start to be.

There’s nothing to fear, everything to love. He’s got a very YOLO approach to life — except I’m not sure he knows you only live once.

To that end, hooray for turbulence! Who even needs an amusement park when flying is so bumpy and fun?? The air in all of its frivolous commotion tickling his tummy. Weeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

When we finally landed, it was in Los Angeles, not San Diego. United professionally explained this as we’re at the wrong airport — oopsy! And then offered to give San Diego another go after just a quick



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jen parker

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