TO THOSE WOMEN AT THE AIRPORT,
I love travelling. And since I have four little kids ages 5 years old and under, travelling becomes extra adventurous. Yes, it can be challenging, but so worth it. What I do to deal with the challenges is try to be as prepared as I can.
For our most recent flight back from the Dominican Republic, everything was set up in delicate order to minimize meltdowns and tame tantrums in the most discrete and comfortable way possible. There we were, waiting at the gate. All seemed to be going very well. Not even one kid was crying. Everything seemed to be under control. Then it happened.
As my kids sat on the ground laughing and playing together – not loudly might I add – a lady looked down at my 4 year old daughter and with the biggest frown said “Shhhhh”.
Now, I’m not usually a confrontational person and at this point, my kids didn’t seem to even notice the lady, so I sat back. But I wasn’t the only one that noticed the lady. A few rows behind me, I could hear a woman’s voice say, “Did she just shush Gigi’s girl? She just shushed Gigi’s girl!” That woman was one of the women in a big group I had met at our resort during the week. They were a group of cousins, sisters, aunts, and grandmas who had all come together for a week of vacation without their husbands and kids. I had shamelessly walked up to them during our vacation and said, “I’m hanging out with you guys! You look so fun!” We hung out a few times and said hi here and there. But that was it. Now, it looks like we were gonna share a flight home. And so was the angry old lady.
I gave my kids a few more exciting crafts to do but not even 10 minutes later, the lady’s husband yelled from his seat. “Quiet, kids! You’re not the only people here!”
Now do you guys know the scene from the movies where a beast is asleep while little creatures tiptoe around it, avoiding it at all costs? Then all of a sudden, something happens, and you see the beast’s eyes pop open and you’re like, “it’s coming!” I turned around and I could seriously see a handful of women get up, as if in slow motion. The lights in the terminal dimmed and a warm wind was blowing their hair to reveal angry eyes… Well, maybe a tad less dramatic… They basically told the couple that the kids have every right to play and laugh together and that many other seats were available at neighbouring gates. Several of them even came over to play and chat with the kids. I seriously felt like I had a tough older brother that was there to scare the bullies away.
I do need to mention that I’m very capable of standing up for my own kids and scaring the bullies away myself. But there was something so empowering in having all those women stand behind me and defend not just my kids, but all travelling little ones. Just like older people prefer quiet, little people prefer excitement and play. It would be as unfair for older travellers to expect young children to sit still as it would be for kids to expect older people to run around screaming their heads off. I’m not saying I would let my toddlers wreck havoc on the terminal and give everyone a headache. I’m just saying that if someone thinks children should not laugh or run or play, maybe they should be staying home where it’s nice and quiet.
So I encourage you to do the same as those women did for me. If you’re on a plane or in a terminal one day, and you see a frazzled mommy trying to entertain her child, lend a hand or even just a word of encouragement. It makes a world of difference, and seriously, we mamas need to stick together.
Leave a comment below if you’ve ever had an interesting incident happen to you while travelling with a little one. Also, if you like this post, please share it with others.