One week til Mexico.
It's like a mantra I keep on repeating. And as D day draws nearer, I grow increasingly excited to go, but now the nervousness that was once a slight seedling is now an invasive and poisonous ivy that is creeping through me, overtaking more and more of me.
It's the flight.
Once we get to Mexico I know it will be great. But getting there is going to be interesting to say the least. Alex, at one and a half, doesn't deal well with confined spaces. He likes to climb things, to be free to explore. He hates being held onto. Whenever I pick him up he writhes his little body to get away from me, like I'm sort of a pedophile, all the while screaming "Nooo" and "DOW!!" alternately, the two words in his vocabulary that comprise approximately 80% of his conversations. I cannot imagine a three to four hour flight, plus all the pre boarding stuff as well.
And that's not even mentioning the other two kids.
So today I came to work intent on searching the web for advice and formulating a plan. Hopefully, I keyed the words "tips for travelling with infant" into Google and waited for something to pop out that hadn't occurred to me before that would magically solve everything.
With dismay, I read the disappointing results.
Tip Number 1: Buy an extra seat for your baby. Too late for that, first of all. Secondly, fine if you have the extra six hundred dollars to do that, but if you don't... well... then what??
Tip Number 2: Make sure your car seat is equipped to fly on the plane... moot point.
Tip Number 3: Book a night flight. Too late for that as well. And I'm not sure about the feasibility about that anyway. So you fly all night long, and then have to be awake all day when you arrive at your destination??
Tip Number 4: Get to the airport early. No kidding. I mean, they might as well just say "Pack a suit case."
And so on and so forth.
Useless information. Bloody useless.
The only thing that I found helpful at all was the final tip that I read, after I had almost given up. The final tip that was added, it almost seemed, as an after thought. Like the author had run out of things to say so added in a peice of advice that seems trite on the surface.
Tip Number 10: Enjoy the ride.
And there it was: the magic words that I needed to hear, or in this case, read: enjoy the ride! As it turns out, I don't need to prepare myself physically- believe me you, I plan on packing so many gold fish crackers and cheese strings that...
that... well there'll be a lot of them, suffice it to say.
I needed to prepare myself psychologically.
I mean, bottom line, this is a milestone in my children's lives, and I shouldn't approach it with trepidation. These are memories in the making, blood, sweat and tears included, although truly, I hope it doesn't come down to blood.
I flashed back to Payton and Alex's first flight, which was to Calgary. Payton was so excited at take off, she was squealing and giggling so loudly. My first instinct was to shush her, hoping that she wasn't being a bother to other passengers. I scanned the passengers furtively, awaiting their disproving glares. But then I noticed that most of them had turned to look at her, their faces not scowling but smiling. A small ripple of laughter went through the cabin as they appreciated her enthusiasm. Many of the people around me where eager to talk to me and the children. Payton made friends with a row of pretty adolescent girls seated across from us who were charmed by her giggly chatter and also her lavish use of accessories. I smiled to myself. This is it, I thought then and I think now, looking back on it. This is what makes my heart happy. Watching your children shake with laughter, seeing the delight and wonder in them, the absolute unrestrained happiness. And the pride that I felt for them at that moment. These were my kids, my beautiful kids. Payton sitting by the window, back lit by the light of the sun.
I think sometimes I underestimate them.
They are children, but they are not a burden.
Back at work, things are going well, at least reasonably so. I regret to say that Cucumber Breath has given her notice and taken up a new job elsewhere. Truthfully, the only regret I felt was when they asked me to contribute to her farewell gift. I was like "well how much is everyone else putting in?" "Five dollars," the receptionist told me.
I put in three.
Partly because it's what I happened to have on me at the time, and partly because I wasn't totally sad to see her go, or even at all sad, in light of the comments she made to me about my lunch which I took offense to (read: Some people have the nerve, July/2009 for background info.)
Anyways, as it turned it most everyone else ended up putting in ten, so I felt pretty stingy by the end of the day.
But I won't lose any sleep over it.