Friday, March 13, 2009

On the Road Again: A Short Lived Epiphany

We are away for a little holiday this week in Melbourne. Jason's parents are here for business and we flew down last night to meet them. What a lovely city!

As you might imagine, living in Australia and having family back in the US, we've flown quite a bit with the kids, enough that I consider myself somewhat of a non-amateur in this area. (I won't say expert, cause I find that intimidating, don't you?) Either way, I have complex, multi-layered strategies for trans-oceanic flights with babies, toddlers and preschoolers. But yesterday as we went through security at Sydney airport, I had an Epiphany.

For starters, I only had ONE carry-on, and it did NOT weigh 147 pounds. Secondly, Ava and Nate each had their own backpacks--THAT THEY ACTUALLY CARRIED. Like, I mean, I didn't end up hauling their bags around in addition to my own. Thirdly, no one freaked about having to go through the metal detector on their own, laying on the floor in protest. Fourthly, I didn't have to take a sleeping baby out of a stroller or a Baby Bjorn to send it through the metal detector. (The stroller or Bjorn, not the baby, of course, though I have been tempted to do so--who wants to wake a sleeping baby, after all?) We breezed through to the gate, and I said to Jase, "This is what it's like--traveling with older kids. It's so much easier!" I felt like a burden was being lifted from my shoulders. Now, the days leading up to a flight possibly wouldn't be filled with plotting, planning and pleading for divine favor from the hand of God. (Which we have received many times. God is cool like that.)

I felt an incredible lightness of being for a moment. That moment came to an end when the baby I am currently gestating decided to play "Dance Dance Revolution" atop my bladder. "Right," I murmured to myself.

Soon, I will be back to the days of Baby Bjorning through security, hoping that breastfeeding will contain the magic sleep solution, stuffing burpcloths, diapers, and pureed whatever into every available container. Soon I will stop packing magazines or books to read on flights, which I'd only recently begun to do again. Soon I will eat only what the kids don't eat on flights, cause who needs to be stuck with a tray over their laps when explosive whatever could come at any moment? Soon, traveling with 3 small kids, I'll be the object of pity and/or scorn by most who see me at an airport. (The former will work in my favor, the latter will be obliterated by my lethal Stinkeye.)

But I don't mind so much. I know all too well how incredibly blessed we are to be having another baby, and I also know how privileged we are to be able to travel as we do. So, I will do it all with a smile. Or a grimace. But ya know, at 3am, in a dark plane over the Pacific, you can't really tell the difference between the two.


  1. I can't imagine taking two kids on a plane, much less 3! But we do what we have to do, right? It's so wonderful that you are expecting your third!

  2. Oh my gosh, this post brings back so many memories of all those trips from California to Florida and back with Laura. Air travel is definitely one of those situations where you earn your parenting stripes. One time Laura slung yogurt into the hair of the woman sitting next to us, and that woman was so amazingly cool about it.

    But I feel for you! Having tasted the sweet freedom of reading a magazine on an airplane, only to start all over again! Wah!

  3. I definitely relish my many growing freedoms with 'big kids.'
    Whenever my husband and I see parents with little ones and babies in tow, we say 'How did we ever do that?!' But apparently we did.

    You, M'Lady, have my utmost respect for doing airplanes. (Becky, too.)

    I still think twice about going out in public with my little monsters, and they're pretty well behaved.

  4. I'm so glad you had your moment. Your one trip. Your shoulder unencumbered by purse, diaper bag AND carry-n. I hope it was sweet, sweet bliss on a plane.

    On our last plane trip, Lydia cried for 2 1/2 hours straight and Luke threw up on me in an innocent attempt to "lay down on my lap". Why must they make planes so small and confining?

    And why does the 19 year old, male flight attendant ask if there's anything he can do and then give a blank stare to my request for a blanket, wet wipes, and a new shirt?

    But the 14 hour road trips aren't much better with kids under 2. It's a real fortunate things for my children that I LOVE to travel, otherwise, I'm convinced I would never take them anywhere further than 2 hours away.

    Did I win the prize for the longest comment ever?!

  5. Okay, that wasn't really Mark it was ME. I forgot that I was still logged in as him. What a dork!

  6. Not only do you have my utmost respect for doing aeroplanes, but you also have my utmost respect for having a third child - just the thought of that makes me feel weepy with tiredness!

  7. You are the Zen master of transoceanic travel with small children.

    We're just back from the mountains where my iphone won't let me make comments on your blog, so, if anyone cares, I've published the comment that I wanted to make on your immediate past post.

  8. I know the feeling my friend..just when things are seeming a little bit "too easy"...another little one is on the way! :)

  9. Remember the absolute luxury of flying home alone at Thanksgiving ?! That had to have been glorious ! I know it's hard on you and Jason to haul to kids around the world. But we love it so much when you do ! The only time I ever flew with an infant, I collapsed in tears in Chicago's O'Hare and was rescued by what I think was an angel coming to my aid. Really.