Some days as a mom, I spend a long and busy day with my kids, somehow finding in the end that we don't have much to show for it besides a few memories. I stay on my feet chasing after them, playing with them, teaching them to be future responsible citizens/rocket scientists, and cleaning up in their wakes. This Tuesday, however, was not one of those days. We had a busy day alright, but in the end we were able to show that we had traveled 1,767 miles and set foot in four states together...just Silas, Georgie, and me. How's that for something?
The life and times of a single traveling parent have to include a couple of mishaps, albeit a humorous one or two to make up for the not-so-humorous ones. It seemed perfectly appropriate that our already-long family restroom trip in the Baltimore airport should be delayed; once Silas had done his business and washed up, he tested the automatic soap dispenser with his hand and then managed to stick his whole head under the soap ejector just as it shot out in a white fluff as I was changing George's diaper. Of course he screamed in horror about this. Rubbing it with wet paper towels only created a scene reminiscent of "There's Something about Mary," so Silas got an actual hair rinsing in the bathroom sink as the next family waited patiently outside the door.
Sadly, he also woke up from a short nap needing to pee again on the second flight and accidentally wet his pants as the plane was descending, rendering us unable to leave our seats. As the gentleman seated next to me and I agreed, what can you do? The kid insisted he needed to go and wasn't allowed to get up, so good thing the seats were leather. But we landed, made it through the Manchester airport, got our suitcase and car seats from baggage claim, nabbed our rental car with a free upgrade, installed the car seats, made yet another potty break in the parking garage, and drove the one hour to Amesbury, Massachusetts on a dark and rainy evening...Sigh. We had arrived, and we had done it all in a day!
Believe it or not, I write this post not to toot my own horn. I mean, obviously my kids are cool customers and I was able to rely on the kindness of Southwest flight staff, fellow passengers, moms, dads, grandmas, and single 20-year-olds to help us get to our final destination. I did my part though and I came prepared; I had a mental packing list going weeks beforehand and I was equipped for every scenario I actually encountered, from needing a fresh pair of pants and underwear for Silas to keeping my phone in "airplane mode" so that Adele (turned down so that even I could barely hear her and other passengers certainly couldn't) could serenade an antsy but tired George to sleep on the long flight. I ultimately write this post to encourage you young parents to get out there and do what you want to do even if you have small children. Take your journeys, whether close or far, and bring your kids along! Understandably, life must change when people have kids; however, BJ and I knew that having kids meant that they are going to join into our lives too, and that means them engaging in some of what we love and coming along for the ride. Well, we love traveling and being with far-away friends, so our kids are going to experience these things for themselves firsthand, and what I hope they learn from their days with mama throughout the years is that mama can roll with the punches with humor and patience, encouraging others along the way to do just the same. So I encourage you, and you can also encourage me at times. Let's make the most of this life; there are no years to waste waiting for the kids to get bigger.