I went to Oklahoma last week. It was amazing. I wore a JACKET. There were colorful trees. We played outside everyday and even went to an art festival. It was dreamy.
And then I had to fly home by myself with a two year old and an infant.
I like to pretend that these things don’t stress me out. “No big deal. Worse things have happened. Maybe if I remain calm the babies won’t be able to smell my fear.” But let’s be honest, it was a huge gamble. From the moment I left my parents behind at security I was at the mercy of some pretty fickle little humans.
Before I set off on my lonely little hike through security (which was NOT easy and the only help they offered was pointing out a box of Kleenex because obviously I was sobbing), my dad told me to find an old man to help me. Mom and I in unison: “That’s creepy”. But God heard our little conversation, and He has a sense of humor.
We made it to our gate only to find that the flight would be delayed until they were able to fix some seats that were damaged on the previous flight. WHAT? How does that even happen? Were people stabbing their seats with blunt utensils? So we did laps around the terminal with our monster mom-mobile – a double stroller that was struggling under the weight of Mable’s carseat and an overstuffed Cliff Keen bag that I managed to cram with all the necessary items for a week with two babies.
Freeman is obsessed with pushing the stroller so I was guiding it as we marched up and down the hall when an old man approached us. He made a joke about me having my hands full and then asked if I would like some help when it came time to board the plane. *Thanks, Dad.* Our kind old-man-angel helped me wrestle my bag and babies all the way to the back of the plane where we had a whole row all to ourselves (thank you JESUS).
Now for all you super moms who plan out the whole trip and pack little treat baggies with earplugs and cute apology notes for the other people on the plane, YOU ARE INCREDIBLE, MYSTICAL CREATURES and I don’t understand you. I sincerely think you are amazing. But that ain’t how I run my baby-rodeo. I can’t plan a trip like this in advance because if I gave it even a little bit of thought I WOULDN’T GO THROUGH WITH IT. I wouldn’t. I couldn’t. Just thinking about how this trip could have turned out is making me panic. This is one of those things I have to hand over to God and trust that we will survive while praying like crazy that I don’t ruin everyone else’s flight.
We befriended the awesome flight attendant and managed to keep the mayhem to a minimum. It was a circus act trying to nurse Mable and keep Freeman entertained but we stayed relatively quiet and, miraculously, both babies spent the last 30 minutes of the flight peacefully sleeping. It was 10 p.m. when we landed and I was exhausted.
But now I had a problem. How do I carry both babies and my huge bag off the plane and get my stroller put back together so I can also haul the carseat? Well, remember the kind old man? He waited for everyone to get off the plane then walked back and grabbed my bag for me. And my new friend the flight attendant? He picked up Mable so I could carry my sleeping toddler. This is probably a really ridiculous visual, me with my squad of babies and strangers climbing out of the plane. We survived. And then, from the top of the escalator… we saw Daniel. And he brought me gluten free pretzels. It was a magical moment.
So, no. This is not a lesson on “How to survive a plane trip with two babies”. This is “How we managed to survive a plane trip by the grace of God and the kindness of people.” I hope this gives you some hope. Or at the very least, you could have a little laugh at my expense.