Originally, the boys and I weren’t going to Seattle. My dear friend’s wedding was the same weekend and we though it would be easier and cheaper for the three of us to stay back. After giving it some thought I decided Grandpa Roy was worth every headache that traveling with the boys would bring, so I called Chris at work and told him the change in plans. Now, I assumed that Chris and I would sit down and make the travel arrangements together but when the phone rang 30 minutes later he informed me that he had booked our flight. We would be flying Alaska Airlines (I had never heard of them), leaving Denver at 1:10 (that’s ok), coming home from Seattle at 6:30 A.M. (are you freaking kidding me??) and we would be flying first class (umm…we aren’t classy people and we have 2 kids).
We got to the airport with plenty of time to get to our gate…so we thought. I didn’t think we had over packed or brought anything that was useless, but what the heck did I know this was my first time traveling with the boys. However, when we got to security and started to unpack everything bit of what we brought I started to get a nervous belly thinking about how mad the people behind us must have been. I said sorry like it was a nervous tick, making lighthearted jokes that were getting the “please stop talking” laughs. I could tell they were annoyed by my presence but I couldn’t stop, it was like word vomit, each thing came out more obnoxious than the last.
We got to the gate just in time for the plane to start boarding. Owen was upset that we weren’t already on the plane and felt crying, extremely loud, would move the process along. This brought attention to the fact that there were going to be children on this flight. I started to look around at the people we were about to berate 30,000 feet in the air. You could see little beads of sweat forming on the brow of their panicked faces. When Henry joined in the protest you could instantaneously see people befriend the others around them asking what seat they were in, crossing their fingers and praying they had just met their seat neighbor.
There were two seats on each side of the isle. Owen and I were on one side while Chris held Hank on the other. As the flow of traffic would stop to allow people to stow their carry on bags, Owen would stand up and say “let’s hit the road, guys!” or “come on let’s go, dude!” Hank would grab at their nearest article of clothing and blow raspberries spraying slobber all of what I assume is their best traveling clothes then smile and clap like there had never been a better raspberry. Chris and I didn’t know whether to smile and wave or apologize. We could feel the sigh of relief they would let out as they passed our row thankful they weren’t sitting next to us. Then we pushed back…..
There are moments in parenting that you wish you could document every second of…and I try to. I am so thankful I have Owen’s face on video during the take off (don’t worry it was on airplane mode). At first he was so excited then when the ground went away he looked like he was going to puke, but the moment that made my heart pitter patter was when he notice we were in the clouds. Explaining the location of heaven to a two year old is tough, so I’ve always said it’s above the clouds and the stars. Well, when he noticed the clouds flying by he got so excited and said, “Mommy, I can’t believe it! We’re going to God’s house. Oh, thank you mommy!” It was that unexpected moment that made this whole airplane ride worth every penny, every embarrassing moment, every apology I would have to give. When I told him that we weren’t going to God’s house a bit a disappointment came over his face as did the look of puke and we quickly switched seats. Chris and I did our research about kiddos flying and the one common thing we found is they need to chew or suck on something to help their ears with the change in altitude. Owen had a backpack full of chewy snacks, his new head phones that daddy bought him, and movies. He was a happy passenger.
Henry fussed and whined for 2 hours and 10 minutes. He wanted to crawl and move so badly. The only thing that kept him from completely loosing his $#!% was Chris. Being the trooper that he is, Chris stood with him the whole time. I had to laugh because when people started to ask Chris about the kids, he would immediately start to explain his rational behind first class…there would be more room (it was a small plane and not much more room 2 seats instead of 3), not as many people (there was not one empty seat), we could board first (due to the time it took to get through security we missed the early boarding), the check in was a breeze (it was). As he went into detail about something they didn’t ask, it was like he was the teacher from the Peanuts and all they heard was wa-wa-wa-waaaa as their eyes glazed over thinking about the different flight options they should have chosen on Travelocity. I think what put most people over the top was Henry’s new fascination with the drop the pacifier game. When they would see Chris on his belly looking for the pacifier under their seats they no longer thought our boys were adorable. Henry fell asleep as we were descending into Seattle. No joke, the pilot told the flight crew to take their seats for landing and that was his cue to close his eyes.
Henry’s descent into dreamland was Owen’s cue to takeoff. for 15 minutes all of his built up frustration was taken out on the seat belt. He started to yell about how it was too tight, too loose, too across his belly, and it made him feel like he had to pee. Eating chewy, sugary snacks for 2 hours caused exiting the plane just as loud as entering it. Owen would run and dart in front of people without warning laughing and giggling like this was the best obstacle course we have ever taken him to. I now understood other parents I had previously judged and was wishing I had one of those monkey backpack leashes to put on the boy. When I would catch him by the back of his shirt he would fall to the ground doing a mixture of a laugh/cry and yell, “you’re hurting me!” I waved to the large group that was now staring at us while wait to board their plane and said, “be thankful it’s not your flight! Safe travels, folks!”
More on Seattle soon!