What did those kids do to that nice lady?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Traveling Light

I was on a flight recently….by myself.

The End. 

Seriously, this could be the whole post. Because if you’ve ever had the distinct pleasure of flying with Young Children, you know that your shit is GAME ON the second you set foot inside that airport. And having dozens upon dozens of flights under my 10 year old Parent Belt with The Children, I can tell you I’ve done quite a few things that are more fun than flying alone with babies and toddlers. It’s hard work. Just sitting here typing this I have dozens of images flooding my brain from flights past. Here's a cute little sample.

That one time I nursed a three month old Son while sitting next to a 27 year old Australian man who’s eyes pretty much looked STRAIGHT FORWARD for 4 continuous hours. 

Having to get creative for diaper changes when for some godforsaken reason, the luxurious airplane bathroom isn’t equipped with a changing table. (Don’t.Get.Me.Started.) 

That one time I left Baby Crack, aka Puffs, in the bottom of the stroller that was checked at the gate and my only thought was-Kill me now. I’m not strong enough without the Baby Crack. 

Being cramped into one seat with a 1 year old on my lap and a 3 year old trying to climb on my lap because I’m not paying for that damn seat until I have too. 

Finding myself frozen in some sort of strange, cirque du soleil position for hours so THE BABY KEEPS SLEEPING.

Apologizing for my ass being in your face while I stand in the thin aisle trying to rock a restless, irritated, really-over-it Baby Girl to sleep. (Nevertheless, she persisted. In crying. The entire flight.) 

Having to wake Children who decide, without fail, to ONLY fall asleep upon descent to destination. 

Convincing The Children that yes, they can indeed HOLD THEIR POOP while we stand in the endless security line, taking the time to remind Son that one time, he held his poop FOR 6 DAYS, so 20 more minutes shouldn’t be a problem.

Realizing that someone is about to barf on the bouncy bus shuttle, and they’ll have to do it in their sippy cup. And also my hand. 

The one time I said, Fuck It, and handed my 6 month old Daughter to the woman behind me in the security line so I could break the stroller down with two hands instead of my usual chin, pinky and foot maneuver. (I mean, to be fair, she DID ask if she could help me and come on-even though it was obvious she had never held a tiny, live human in her life, I figured it was easier than trying to explain to her how to break down the stroller.) 

When I finally learned how to always say yes when someone asked me if they could help. Or buy me a drink. And I can happily say that the side-eye from the bitchy flight attendants when I order my double Tito’s and soda doesn’t bother me anymore because for every old, bitchy attendant, there is

the one that gives you your drink, a wink, and carries on without asking for payment. 

So, yeah, getting on a plane by yourself…it’s pretty exciting. Just walking through the airport without having to make the inevitable bathroom stop with all The Kids  and all The Stuff and not negotiating which $26 bag of candy they have to share and then there’s not even a wrestling match to break up while we sit at the gate and wait to board in Group 18….it’s…nice.


I miss them. 

That’s the fucked up thing about being a mom. 

There you are, sitting at an airport bar, having a pre-flight cocktail and reading a book, and whizzing by you is a busy mom with her unruly crew and you….okay, you kind of laugh at her a little because you know she hates you sitting all smug at the bar by yourself, but then you also….start to have this funny feeling….that you wish…The Children were with you. And even as you try to shoo that feeling away with another glass of wine and another chapter of your book...nevertheless...it persists....and you want your buddies with you.

The Children are 10 and 8 now. I’ve learned that as kids get older, many things get much harder, but other things get much easier. Like flying alone with them. They carry their own stuff, we play cards, we all settle in and watch our own movies. We still fight about who gets to sit next to me, but I’ll happily listen to that fight anytime because I think it means they like me as much as I like them. And if I’ve learned anything while going through Divorce, it’s that I am addicted to my Children. I gave them life, but they are the life that beats inside of me. And every second that I have gotten to be with them and get to be with them, is one better second of my life. 

Even the seconds they spent puking in my hand on a shuttle bus. 

Happy trails to you and yours. 

Here's a picture of us surviving another security line while holding our poop.