As I sit in the airport on my first solo flight (Orlando back to Boston) in over FIVE years. Yes. You heard that right. I haven’t traveled without one or all of my kids in over five years. I’m struck by how much simpler it is. I had truly forgotten what it was like to do anything by myself. For myself. I love my kids. But sitting here I realize that sometimes to keep my sanity, I have to do things for myself by myself. To make me a better mom and wife.
Traveling with kids is stressful and exhausting. When I travel with my kids I have to plan way ahead. Way, way, ahead.
J doesn’t like to walk a lot. He wanders. He touches things. Everything. He does not have a sense of stranger danger. He can’t sit still. He also still wears diapers at night and on long trips. He’s 4ft and 58lbs. This is not easy. He only listens half the time. The iPad is a must if I’m to accomplish any traveling like this with him. It scares me to take him places that are crowded and busy like that. Especially when I can’t strap him into a stroller or something similar to keep him on one place.
A is an observer. She listens and stays close. But like J, she can’t sit still for long periods. She needs to move. She’s 3.5, so I understand it’s also the age, but when her older brother is one way and she is going another you can only be in one place at a time. A also requires multiple forms of entertainment. A backpack full. Things must constantly change for her.
E is 14 months. She’s a new toddler who discovered she has legs and can move. She DOES not, WILL not, sit still under any circumstance. Food, toys, etc. none of that does any good for more than 90 seconds.
Now I have three kids, in three directions. It is so incredibly stressful.
So as I sit here by myself, taking a deep, stress free breath because I am responsible for just me, I realize how easy life was before kids. Before autism. Before genetics became my world. But I can’t even begin to describe the feeling I felt when I saw my kids faces light up when they saw me after my trip. It really makes the stress of everything worth it.
As long as I get a taste of time without every few years.