Kiddo has been travelling since a very young age. For the first three years of his life, we lived in North Carolina. About six weeks after he was born, we flew back to my hometown in north Texas for my grandfather’s funeral. He was so tiny that it was an easy flight – I was able to hold/carry him for the entire experience.
The second flight home about 6 months later was a mess; I’m not going to lie to you.
I was travelling alone again, which was fine. But we had car trouble on the way to the airport and missed the flight. I settled in at my new gate and about 20 minutes before departure I realized that I hadn’t heard any boarding information. It was only then that I realized they’d moved my gate! So off we went from terminal B to D with me carrying a diaper bag, full sized car seat and the child.
I have never been more grateful for the kindness of strangers. From the gate attendant who held the flight to the businessman who carried the carseat on the tram system. By the time I got to my destination 16 hours later, I was exhausted. Kiddo was an angel and none of the stress on that trip was related directly to him.
I really started enjoying travel with him when he was a toddler. From about 3 to 6 years old we didn’t do any major travel. Our drive each day to/from daycare took about 30 minutes – at the most we drove maybe an hour to see family.
I’m one of those people that loves music so we listen to the radio in the car. I’m fairly certain that has influenced his love for music. My mother has maintained for years that he has ‘perfect pitch.’ I have enthusiasm but lack any training or notable skill so I can’t say.
Kiddo loves to sing. He’s not shy if he doesn’t know the words; he will sing the melody instead. It is absolutely my favorite sound in the world to hear him singing in the backseat as he plays or looks out the windows. He has a strong preference for pop music – a catchy beat gets him every time. However, his favorite singer is Adele. Listening to him sing with such conviction about heartbreak is kind of amusing.
Often, we talk as the miles pass under us. On this last trip back to north Texas, we had many great conversations. We don’t get as much one on one time as we used to and sometimes I really miss it. Listening to his thoughts helps me see how he’s changing and growing up. I want to be connected; to understand what is important to him.
We talked about dealing with anxiety (see The Anxiety Monster). We discussed how most problems have multiple solutions and sometimes choosing one is difficult. I told him that’s where I struggled; with the fear of making the ‘wrong’ choice. I feel like it is absolutely vital that my child realize that I sympathize and that I understand his perspective. After all, Mama is human too.
As we got closer to DFW, I asked him how he knew when things get serious with my driving. His response was that I ask him to sit quietly. Ha! So true! I reminded him that I also turn off the radio to focus during busy traffic. After a missed exit and unexpected rerouting, I apologized for the bit of cursing I’d done. He said, “That’s okay. You were stressed. I was too but I did not want you to be more stressed so I just read my book.”
As we say in the South, bless his heart.
I am proud of the kind hearted and forgiving person that he is. Sharing my life with him is one of my greatest blessings.