With the exception of an overseas flight where my husband swears I was absolutely abominable company, I’ve grown to really enjoy flying and long commutes (as a passenger) in general. There’s no pressure to do anything but pass the time, and I’m a skillful time passer: I read, I write, I listen to audio books. I’ve even been known to color.
But flying for the first time with a 10-month-old will not, I think, be an exercise in anything but hoping the time passes as quickly as possible. It’s only a two hour flight, but Miss E is newly crawling and she wants to go. I’m not sure there are new books and boxes of Cheerios enough in the world to keep her in a lap for that long. I’ve gotten so hung up on all of the preparations for getting to where we’re going that I didn’t think much about what would happen once we got there… which resulted in some pretty serious panic when I realized we need things like, you know, car seats. And high chairs. And somewhere for her to sleep. Thank goodness we’re staying with family and can launder her diapers, at least.
But I’m glad we’re challenging ourselves with traveling with her now. It would be very easy to wait until she’s “old enough,” but I imagine there’s a reason at every age to avoid flying, or driving, or extended stays anywhere that’s not home (with the secret stash of pacifiers under the crib and a 24-hour Walgreen’s within walking distance). I took my first flight just a few months shy of my nineteenth birthday, and hadn’t traveled out of the country until I was in my mid-twenties. I remember sitting at the train station outside of Berlin and looking at the trees planted just across the track, marveling that they looked so very much like the trees at home. I want Miss E to revel from a much younger age at her global citizenship, and I hope this little trip is just the first of many learning experiences, even if this one is mostly for me.
While I can see how vacationing with children isn’t anything at all like vacationing before children, I’m pretty sure I’ll thrill like I never have before when I see the look on my daughter’s face the first time the surf rolls over her eager little toes.