Thursday, February 12, 2015

traveling outnumbered

I saw a little something on the internet a while ago like, "Check out these awesome parents who flew with their baby and gave everyone on the plane goodie bags as a pre-apology for any inconvenience!"  Well, after flying with our three young children recently I declare: that is absolutely ridiculous and please don't ever do it.  People with babies are people too and we've got just as much right to fly as anyone else.  Babies cry when they are uncomfortable and after hours trapped in a plane, we're all uncomfortable.  The babies just say what the rest of us are too mature to.  And if anyone should be getting a goodie bag, it should be the person(s) calming the precious little ones, not the person(s) hearing a little crying breaking through the roar of the plane or feeling a little kicking on their seat.  Besides, everyone has headphones these days and the flight attendants even pass them around for free so really there is nothing to complain about.  Forget the goodie bags; the surrounding passengers should be buying you drinks.

I'm speaking all hypothetically here because obviously our kids are angels and we were constantly flooded with compliments on how cute and well behaved they were.  That sounds like sarcasm but honestly, they couldn't have been better troopers.  Our cross-country flight had a little tv with shows and video games in the back of every head rest which meant that our device deprived boys were all set for the duration, despite some six hours or so of extra waiting on the tarmac for wing de-icing and valve unsticking and luggage moving and passenger deplaning and re-planing and whatnot.  Maisy was a little more perturbed, but not too badly and nothing a few strolls down the aisle couldn't fix, and like I said, she was just vocalizing what the rest of us were thinking.  And since we didn't take off from Newark until after bedtime, all the kids slept through the majority of the six hour flight, and I even got to watch two movies in their entirety -- Alexander and the Terrible Something Day with Steve Carell and Blended with Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore -- and I loved them both.
 a quick self-timer family photo at Albany International
 ah, pay phones!
 this moment reminded me of taking baby bob to jamaica
 settling into plane #1
 i'm pretty sure this whole touch screen on the back of everyone's head thing has already been discontinued
 sleeping from newark to la
for the last hour of the trip I had to hold owen's body up with my leg; my bum was more than a little sore after this flight

The way home, though lacking in personal screens, was much quicker and easier.  Owen and Maisy require some entertaining but Bob could sit in one place for an entire day with his blankie and a pile of books so for him it was nothing out of the norm.  Probably the most ridiculous moment of flying for me was changing Owen's diaper in the airplane bathroom... he barely fit on that tiny table and had to lay with his legs sticking straight up the entire time, his giant three year old poop smelled like something had died in his diaper, and frankly I'm surprised we didn't get ejected from the plane.  But we survived!  And on each leg of the journey we met awesome people who went out of their way to tell us how marvelous our kids were and what a great job we were doing with them.  And even one lady who offered to hold the baby while we gathered up our things.

 they didn't have enough energy to walk through the airport on the last day; they could only move if we told them to RUN!
 waiting for takeoff
 cutest traveling companions ever
checking out the scenery
 flying is just plain crazy amazing.
 big bro buckling up little bro while my arms were occupied...
 making sure this little one kept snoozing.
 back in Albany...
 waiting for dad to dig the car out of the snow and come pick us up
(one still moment... mostly they were running and leaping off this bench)

That middle bit in between the flying days -- the part where we got to spend ten days visiting Ben's family in California where it's warm and sunny and beach weather and I didn't have to cook every dinner or wash any dishes -- was amazing.  It warms the heart to see extended family loving on your kiddos.  And have I mentioned that it wasn't snowing?  I asked everyone what was their favorite part of the trip... Owen said having cake at his birthday party; Bob said riding bikes to the beach; Ben said seeing his Gram and the rest of his family and watching the boys playing just like he did there when he was little.  My highlight?  I think... walking down the steps to the beach and wading in the waves and watching the boys run and Maisy shovel sand with her starfish hand and just soaking up every last drop of the sunset before climbing back up the cliff.

Just a few (well, my definition of a few) favorite photos... (I shall return with more!)
 um, yeah-- this was one of the cutest moments ever
 checking out the pier
my most cherished photo from the trip
 a fun birthday gift
 chocolate cupcake cake!
 two teeth!
 hashtag no filter!
 bubble party!
 these two and their deep deep love.
best buds.
Ben told me to put his initials after every photo that he took, which I didn't.  But I will give him credit for this last one, which I love.  I loved this moment, this moment shared with my daughter-- surveying this earth, feeling the sand on our feet and the sun on our faces, just breathing in this beautiful life.  I want so badly to get this right -- why does raising a daughter feel even more significant than raising a son? -- even if none of us really gets it all right.  It's a long road, this mother-daughter relationship deal, and surely I'll take some wrong turns, but planting our feet in the sand, sifting the surf with our toes, watching the waves in all their golden glory-- this feels like a good place to start.

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