the little assistant

29Mar10

Nothing fulfills your sense of self-accomplishment like flying with three kids.

As you know, (or maybe you don’t, in which case you haven’t been paying attention) I took the girls to New York City this past weekend for spring break.   It also  coincided with Fia’s 6th birthday and she wanted to go to the American Girl Store for a “family party” this year.  (Which sounds like she was being so considerate and thoughtful by saving me the hassle of a party, right.? Yeah, no.  But, more on that later…)

We packed.  For days.  The laundry that I needed seemed to never get clean.  The list of to do’s in Wilmington kept growing and yet, somehow, we made it on to the plane.  Four suitcases (one devoted solely to American Girls and one devoted to shoes), four carry-ons, two laptop computers and two packs of gum got us out the door.  A pit-stop at Chik-fil-A served as dinner. They shoveled the meal in so that they could travel through security where the employees giggled at their excitement and Fia reprimanded me that I should have remembered to take my belt off.  “Mom, you should know that,” she chided.

They barreled down the terminal and anxiously awaited for their flight number to be called.  They were giddy when they handed over their boarding passes.  The flight attendant guessed that it might be their first plane ride from the volume of noise coming out of them.  She was quickly corrected by Abigail who informed her that she and Fia had flown before.  Evie took this all in and then paused in the middle of the jetway to ask me if she was in my tummy or in my heart when she flew the last time.  Really, she did. (Answer: my tummy)

They nearly stopped breathing when they sought out their seating assignments on the plane and assessed the proper usage of the seatbelt.  Fia wanted to know why we would need a flotation device.  Evie wanted to know when they would serve drinks.  Abigail was pulling out the typed itinerary of plane activities that she had devised for her and Evie.  Everything was going well.  Really well.  Surprisingly well.

And, as we sat there awaiting our departure I started to relax.  Amidst the thoughts of traveling to NYC, I found peace. I had done it.  I was feeling a bit like wonder-woman.  We were on the plane.  No one was crying.  Bags had been loaded (we had watched).  House was locked.  Flight was on time.  I even had cash in my wallet.  I had pulled it off.  Score one for the frazzled, frizzy team.

Thankfully, there were three very patient men sitting across from us that were graciously feigning amusement at the bewildered excitement of the girls.  One was so even so kind as to take it upon himself to explain to Evie and Abigail how to recognize the landing pattern of the plane that was coming in.  Fia listened in admiration.  She sighed.  She put her had on mine and whispered that she was “so happy that Abbey had a little assistant.”  Yeah, me too.

We took off and I was immediately sick;  I don’t fly well.  But, the blood of their pilot daddy is strong and the three girls I traveled with were untouched by the turbulence, well-behaved (you would have thought they were seasoned travelers), and completely relaxed.  We watched the sunset and flew into NYC in the dark, amidst the lights and stunning beauty of a city lit up from the sky.

Again, Fia paused.  She sighed.  She looked out the window and murmured, “it’s so beautiful.”  I agreed.

But, even more stunning was the Hallmark-like moment unfolding in front of me.  Above NYC, aboard a commuter plane, I was sharing the duality of a beautiful view both inside and out.  The girls were all captivated, staring out the windows, peaceful, excited, all three experiencing nearly the same feeling at the same time.  For a few minutes they were in agreement with one another and not arguing.  All three were filled with anticipation.  All three were eager to please.  They were holding hands for pete’s sake.  I felt invincible.

There may be nothing out there I cannot do.

Wait. Wait.  We were on a non-stop.

Looks like I need to tackle flying alone with three kids on a connecting flight.

Great.  Can’t wait.

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2 Responses to “the little assistant”

  1. 1 Jennifer

    Oh I admire your trip! My memory of flying alone with my boys would not be so Hallmark-like. It began with an all out fist fight in the ILM airport and ended with a mom in Cincy taking one look at me on the tram and saying, “My, they’ve put you through it today haven’t they?”

  2. 2 Michelle

    “Frazzled, frizzy team”……..hilarious. These are great memories for your girls…..you are a great mama. Can’t wait to hear more.


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