For as long as I can remember, my family has escaped the snow belt of upstate New York in mid-February for a thaw out trip to somewhere warm. In our grown up years, us kids have had a new appreciation for the opportunity to tag along on - even if we are escaping from a place where a "cold rain" can qualify for a snow day. So when my parents planned their February trip to Arizona last year - back when Bo was still little chicken nugget in my tummy - we enthusiastically agreed to come. Warm weather, a pool, plenty of golf… what's not to be excited about?
As the trip grew closer, the reality of traveling with a baby began to sink in and thoughts of a lovely relaxing vacation became replaced with hyperventilating panic attacks about flying with a baby. I think I hit up everyone I knew who had every traveled with a baby to ask for tips and then crossed my fingers, packed enough stuff for 3 babies in my carry-on and said a little prayer.
I wish I could conclude this story with "it went so much better than I expected!" As I write this, on our second to last day of vacation, I am already dreading our return. Matt and I have just been telling ourselves: "it is going to suck. It is going to suck for a few hours and then it will be over and in the end, we will be glad we did this."
This is approximately the same mantra I tell myself during long half marathon runs. However, during those I am at least using listening to Rhianna instead of a screaming baby.
Let's just say my child doesn't like to sleep anywhere besides his crib and he doesn't give in to utter exhaustion without a fight. A loud fight. A back-arching, face-scrunching, tiny feet kicking the air, loud fight.
If I had any advice to offer people flying with a baby, it would be to go when they are approximately 8 weeks old and will sleep anywhere or go when they are 18 years old and will sleep anywhere.
In all seriousness despite my griping, I'm glad we did it. Matt and I have always said we wanted to make traveling a priority in our family. We waited quite awhile to have a baby, and we packed those 5 years with so many awesome trips and memories. Once we decided to have a baby, we swore to each other that even though it was never going to be as easy breezy as the days of the two of us stuffing all our things into 2 carry-on's and jetting away for a weekend, we were going to make it happen.
Yes, I'm am totally emotionally scarred about our first two flights and shaking with trepidation with thoughts of our next two flights… but isn't that just part of parenting? Finding the delicate balance between doing awesome things as a family even if they might suck a little bit on a personal level? Pretty sure that's what we signed up for. So, if you're reading this on Saturday, just go ahead and say a little prayer for us that we make it home in one piece.
And ask us in a month or two where we are going next. And how many mini bottles we'll be buying this go-round.