I'm back from vacation. It was a wonderful trip, but ten days at the beach sans my husband reminded me of this post.
Also, flying with a ten month old taught me there are certain situations in which you can prepare all you want, but all the planning in the world will not change the fact that your child has you completely by the cojones.
I got on the plane and noted that I was sitting near a mom with three boys, one about my baby's age. The woman was also traveling with her mother, who seemed to do everything, but I still worried for her and was glad I was not traveling with three boys.
Then her two older boys busied themselves with activities and the baby promptly fell asleep. The baby slept the duration of the flight and the older boys also snoozed on and off.
Evie, on the other hand, spent most of the trip trying to climb onto my head. When she didn't do that she slapped my face. After the face slapping the real fun began when she arched her back and threw her head back until I put her down on the bulk head floor in front of me. There she proceeded to try and shred the instruction manual and eat the Sky magazine.
My thought process on this matter went like this:
30 minutes into the flight: I will not have a child that rips apart the instruction manual leaving it crumpled for the next traveler. I will not have a child that shreds a magazine and makes a huge mess on a flight! Who is going to pick it up? That's just irresponsible parenting. This is what's wrong with the world.
90 minutes into the flight, after I had been slapped, climbed upon and otherwise tortured by my baby: Who the hell does not know how to buckle their seat belt? For Christ's sake, if you can't do that without reading an instruction manual you need to NOT leave your house ever, so it's fine if my baby tries to eat it. And I'm sorry, but if we go down there will be no need to know how to exit the plane- we'll be dead. Also, this is MY copy of Sky magazine and I'll be damned after paying exorbitant airline fees if I will not use this magazine in whatever way I wish! Shred it, Evie, shred it! We must teach the airline industry a lesson!
So it went for awhile.
I find that when I'm focused on feeling incredibly sorry for myself, God sends me a little sign that let's me know I need to ease up. Sometimes I can actually feel God rolling his eyes at me.
In this particular case the woman next to me started chatting with me. Trying to be nice, but also feeling distracted, I gave her halfhearted answers about my girls and our trip. I was feeling overwhelmed but knew I needed to ask her about herself and her trip. Isn't that nice of me? I thought so.
Until she told me her story. She was on her way to Norfolk, not for vacation like I was- no she was meeting her husband. He's a Marine and the two of them were attending a family meeting so she could be briefed on his upcoming deployment. In the meeting she would be told very little, due to the nature of his job within the military, and one thing that would be covered would be how she would be contacted in the event that any "problems arose" for her husband. She would be saying goodbye to him for 9-12 months, although as she mentioned, you never really know how long.
Oh, did I mention she's 8 months pregnant?
She remained positive and happy. Talking about how she needed to remain so because her husband was struggling horribly with the fact that he will miss his daughter's birth and that the baby would not know him upon his return. The woman said she knew her husband had it worse than she did and so she would not feel sorry for herself.
Yeah. So I gathered myself and sucked it up.
I spent the rest of the time letting my baby claw at me and chatting with this woman who was much stronger than I could ever hope to be.
Which is good, because she's going to need it.