The day finally arrived for my much anticipated trip. Despite the struggle to maneuver through the airport and a packed security line, I attempted to relax as I sat back in the plush airline seat, trying not to breathe in the recycled air. Finally, I was on my way. The plane shifted into a moving position and my eyes focused on the safety card that I was holding. Just as I found my nearest exit row, I heard a loud piercing cry coming from a child. I was overwhelmed with dread for what the remainder of the flight would bring. For I was not just a passenger on the plane, I was the parent of the crying child.
Okay, so maybe I left out many stressful details of my journey from the car to the gate. Like, how I had to check two large pieces of luggage as I kept an eye on my three young boys and our six carry-ons while my husband parked the car. (I definitely got the short end of the stick on that deal.) Or how we came to depend too much on communication through our cell phones and we didn’t make a plan of where to find each other in the airport. This resulted in my taking all three boys through security along with our six carry-on bags. Removing and replacing four pairs of shoes was time-consuming enough. People were avoiding my line. I was in over my head and the other travelers knew it. I had to fight back tears as security removed my three mini juices boxes from the clear plastic bag and said, “You can’t take these.” Once seeing the juice, my two year old began to repeatedly ask me for the drink. Realizing that his pleading wasn’t working, he began to wail, “JUICE! JUICE!” His words echoed through the high ceilings and bounced off the moving luggage belts, reminding the other two boys that they were thirsty too. The security personnel informed me that if they wanted to drink the juice, we would have to leave and come back through security again. Yeah, we’re not doing that. I would rather poke the straws in my eye. That man had no idea what my next 30 minutes would be like as I tried to proceed forward with my three sulking (one screaming) and very thirsty children.