After 5 long years, I finally boarded an airplane again. I’m not afraid to fly, I’ve simply been head under water these last years with our expanding family, too busy and budget conscious to find a way back up in the air. However, we’ve finally arrived at the opportunity to get away. We toted four bags, two kids and our fair share of stress to the airport.
For the kids, it was a welcomed and exciting adventure to embark on. I stocked up on tiny dollar store toys, books and crayons for the plane ride and any other potentially restless situations along the way.
Since I hadn’t flown in half a decade, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at the airport in regards to security. But it was much the same as I remembered it. I failed to explain the process to the kids however, who were quite confused as to why we were all suddenly taking off our jackets and throwing all our personal belongings into bins.
Our four-year-old was especially upset about having to take off his shoes. My on the spot explanation to him was that the airport needed to make sure no one with smelly feet was boarding the plane.
We had arrived at the airport hours early (just to prepare for lines and child meltdowns) and were of course, left with oodles of extra time.
As everyone knows, there’s only so much you can do at the airport, to a child though it’s somehow a world of wonderment. For what other reason do you get to take a car, a train and a plane ride all before lunch?
We were keeping our eyes out for bathrooms and food, and the boys had their radars out for gift stores. Who knew they were stocked with toys and other goodies, all at inflated pricing? I had only ever thought of gift shops as places for magazines and tiny packs of Advil.
After watching airplanes take off and munching down $10 sandwiches, we finally boarded our plane.
I had imagined a few worst and best case scenarios. Being in my first trimester of my third pregnancy, I naturally feared that I might spend half the flight throwing up. Our two-year-old was recovering from his latest round of sinus/ear troubles, so I could only hope he wouldn’t be screaming from discomfort upon take off. I was ready for anything.
To my great surprise and relief, there was no screaming or throwing up on anyone’s part.
My four-year-old was fascinated by the take off, the noises, and the bathrooms. And my two-year-old didn’t really care what was going on.
My husband sat across the row from us, which it would seem was the “easy” job to have. However, he was the one who volunteered to change our younger son’s diaper in the confines of the lavatory. Not an easy task for any adult, but especially for one like my husband who is 6’5”.
My job was keeping the boys entertained, constantly rotating snacks, new toys, coloring, DVD, etc.
We made it safely to our destination, where I could breathe a big sigh of relief. Flying seemed to agree with our family. Then I realized there will be a return trip, and a few anxieties snuck back into my mind. Fortunately, we made our way home a week later with another successful plane ride.
Planning for and going on a vacation will always be different for the parents than the kids, and it’s because of my experiences as a child taking flights that I remember the excitement and joy it was for me.
I’m glad to see my boys take part in this kind of adventure too, even if it is a little stressful for us parents.