You know the drill. You're sitting on an airplane, taxiing before takeoff, and either there's a crew of flight attendants (or a talking-head video) running through safety routines. How to buckle your seat belt. Where the exits, lavatories, and flotation devices are. You know.
That was me last night, experiencing a familiar ritual. Until the person on the microphone threw in a curve ball. During the bit about oxygen masks -- how in the event of a loss of cabin pressure, they'll drop from the ceiling, how to pull the mask towards me to start the flow of oxygen, how the bag might not inflate but that oxygen is still flowing, how to adjust the mask around my face using elastics, how to help my child first (if I had one) before putting on my own mask -- the flight attendant slyly said this, "If you're sitting with more than one child, choose your favorite."
I couldn't help smiling and connecting her joke to the classroom where there are countless choices to face, often impossible ones about what to prioritize over what. Fortunately, they also tend to be more forgiving ones that can be revisited and adjusted often, different from the looming finality of last night's dangling oxygen mask, tinged with dark humor.