By the time the plane touched down we were all exhausted. The screaming was non-stop, piercing, and maddening. I had a strange calm about the entire ordeal though. It was a “been there, done that,” type of feeling. To add to this young mother’s stress level there was a bit of turbulence on this particular flight so just when she was about to get up and walk this hollow, metal tube for all it was worth. No such luck though. *BING* “Everyone please take your seats and fasten your seat belts securely around your waist.” Now I’m officially feeling badly for this woman.
Ten years ago I was in the same spot as this mother. My baby boy was only 10 months old at the time, and money was tight. It then dawned on me, all of the cost-cutting measures that my life and I could employ.
1. Fly out of a different airport (*only*) 65 miles away from our home.
2. Connecting flight in Atlanta (I should mention that we were flying from Denver…well Colorado Springs now…to our final destination of Miami).
3. Connecting in Atlanta, aka the busiest airport in the country.
4. Flying a near red-eye flight.
5. Arriving in Atlanta, with the knowledge that the trip wasn’t even half way done.
6. Finally landing in Miami and remembering that (a) the child hasn’t slept a wink of sleep, (b) he’s hungry and mom’s breastfeeding, (c) we still have over an hour of driving in a car to reach our final destination.
I have to admit that, as a new parent, I was never promised that traveling with children would be a joyful event. But I do now know why my parents used to fill me up with Benadryl before any flight or long car ride! ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Now, I’m not suggesting you should drug your children before taking them on a small trip or a longer vacation, but I do understand now!
So here’s to you all who, by necessity, or by choice travel this summer with your young ones. Remember to pack your patience, toys, snacks, crayons, and patience (did I already say that?!). For those of you who do not have children, I have two tidbits of knowledge for you. (1) You need to invest in headphones, and possibly an adult beverage, and (2) listen to the upset child, watch what the parents are attempting to do to curb the situation…because that will be you someday!
Enjoy your summer travels, and remember – the little ones don’t know what’s up. It’s up to us, as parents, to deal with – and deal with we shall. Good luck to you all!