Right about Now the F Word Is All I Can Think About…
I often look at similar instances on this journey with my kids and compare. I like to see how far I have come. You know, before you have kids it’s just you. Once you have kids, you’re no longer party of one. I always tell Kyle I consider myself four people. Schizophrenic as it sounds, if you know, you know. I have to think for everyone. I know Harper will have to pee before ANY car ride and I must remind her before heading out the door. Hudson will claim she has car sickness if she doesn’t get to sit in her favorite seat and Hayden will scream for a snack even though he just had peanut butter waffles. Honestly, I’m not sure which kid can be “the worst” and at this point, I don’t want to choose because they’re all on my already nervous nerves as I begin to tell you a story about getting to the airport. This is what I mean that I’m no longer one. I’m four. I have to think about pee, eating and complaining all at the same time as getting to the airport on time and through security before I satisfy any of those urges.
By the way, this is the part you don’t see in pics because I don’t have hands to take them and when I do, it makes Harper cry harder, Hudson get sassier and Hayden cry louder. They know they’re being recorded for my pleasure in which they are desperately trying to displease. It’s as simple as that. I try not to hold my kids in too negative a light in this blog because really, the whole idea behind MD is to learn from all of our mistakes and come through sanctification by motherhood with the brilliance of gold. But, the fire can get hot. And right now, as I’m speeding toward the airport with 33 minutes left to go, I’m getting singed.
I pull over to let Harper go to the bathroom in a gas station, scream at Hudson to help her since I have to stay in the car with Hayden. Getting him out would require patience I do not have. I hand Hudson my wallet and tell her to get Hayden a bar of any sort so he can shut the **** up. If you think I used the F word there, I didn’t. I’m trying desperately to give it up, but about right now, it’s all I can think about.
Harper bounces out of the gas station a different person. Hudson slothily walks to the car to hand her two-year old brother a bar that he cannot open and I have the car in drive before she can get her other foot inside. We now have 25 minutes to get to the airport and through security.
My mind is full of all sorts of should and should nots. I should have packed snacks. I should have reminded Harper to use the bathroom. I should have had a positive patty pep talk with pessimistic petunia (Hudson) about how to be a polite princess, but I was preoccupied. Also my mind is simultaneously thinking that my parents would have made us sit in our pee, hunger and pessimistic attitude for the duration of the car ride. Tough love was always their approach. All at the same time, I’m making split-second-decisions like putting my blinker on to warn the cars to my right that I’m about to switch lanes going 85 miles an hour. I resolve to remember this day for all of my selves so that next time I will be better prepared.
Once at the airport I’m nearly in tears and those TSA officers can either make or break me. Will they ask for paperwork on Hayden as I patiently wait for them to dissect my ID? Will one of my kids suddenly disown me and pretend like I’m not their Mom? Will Harper pack another jar of peanut butter and sneak it through security? Will I be able to contain Hayden until we get through? He is running under the line separators right now while the TSA officer asks me which one is Hayden, I point and smile. We are admitted though. Thank God. We pile our belongings on the security table and I try to explain to Hayden that he gets to talk through the thing that can see through him, it can see his very bones! I’m not sure this is true, but it grabs his attention for a moment while he walks through. It beeps on me, of course, although I’m wearing nothing more than a dress and tennis shoes. Hayden has to walk back through with me, much to the security officers annoyance. I laugh and say “We are like one person, party of one!” He does not get my joke because he is a man and not a Mom. We are also admitted through and I explain to all three of myselves that we have to run. So. I put Hayden on top of my suitcase, straddling the handle, and run-walk with my other two lagging behind, forgetting to double check the gate number. They have changed it at the last minute, sending us, running again, to another gate that is now boarding. By the time I get to the line, family boarding has already ended and now I have to cut everyone like I did on the interstate with my blinker except it’s way more embarrassing at this speed. We haven’t even boarded the plane and I feel like it should be bedtime. Why is this so hard?
Because it is. And don’t you tell me that I’ll miss it. I will not miss this part. Ok, Ok, Ok. When do I get to the part where I have learned a lot and I get to look back on this particular story and laugh?
Well, quickly, a few years later in another airport, we stood somewhat quietly behind a lady consoling her three year old granddaughter. She kept trying to wheel her bag at the same time as hold her little hand. We all know how slowly a three year old can walk when they don’t want to go anywhere, it was brutal to watch and Hayden was having a particularly good listening day. So, instead of being buried in traveling with myselves, I got to help. I smiled at the lady and I said “I have one of those.” Pointing to Hayden who was happily running his toy car along the ribbon to separate security lines. The lady smiled and told me this was her first trip with her grand-daughter and she was nervous. I showed her how to stick her child on top of the suitcase and wheel her around like it’s a ride but it really just gets everyone “there” faster. She was so grateful and I saw her later in the same position with a smiling toddler riding through the crowds.
Wow. Just Wow. Who am I to be giving anyone tips?
A mom who has been there three times.
A mom who vows to travel with Her kids and enjoy it.
A mom who refused to let the flames of sanctification burn her through.
A mom who instead, chooses to let the flames refine her experience and share them with the world. It can be rough, but look how far we came. I may even spy the tiniest particle of gold.
If you can relate, shoot me an email. I have LOVED hearing from many of you!
Thanks for reading,