Your Fear of Flying with My Children
The skies aren’t always so friendly when you travel with two small children
-Julie Ryan Evans
Dear fellow airline passengers,
As I walk down the aisle with two small children in tow, it’s really not necessary to avert your eyes or glower at us. You can’t wish us away, no matter how hard you try; we have to sit in our assigned seats. We’re not here to torture you, we just want to get to grandma’s house half-way across the country.
I know we look menacing with my 6-month-old dangling off my hip precariously as I try to herd my 6-year-old and squeeze through the tiny aisle without whacking people in the head with the diaper bag and the portable DVD player and my huge overflowing purse packed with all the things we need to try and make it through this flight as best we can. I don’t expect your help, just please try to at least move your feet and bodies out of the aisles so we don’t step on them or trip and send the whole mess flying. That would surely delay your flight.
Sympathetic smiles are welcome, but those of you who offer and actually insist on helping and carrying my bags – there is a special place for you in the skies higher than the plane can fly I am sure. The short bit of relief you provide in what has already been an exhausting day brings tears of gratitude to my eyes that mix with the sweat pouring down my face from the exertion of it all.
To the flight attendants who ask if there’s anything they can do, thank you. To those who bring cookies to my son and extra plastic cups for my daughter to play with before takeoff, you are the best. To those flight attendants who scream “AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO DRINK TODAY?! while looking right at my sleeping baby … get a clue … or a new job.
To those of you who recline your seat into my lap while I have a baby on that same lap, shame on you. I do everything in my power to keep my kids from kicking your seatback, but if you’re going to go there, then I may kick it myself.
To everyone who makes silly faces at my baby, engages my son in polite conversation or compliments me on having well-behaved children, thank you. The minutes creep by slowly – oh so very slowly- in airports and in flight, and every little bit of distraction and kindness helps. Plus, it’s nice break from feeling like a leper.