"Sorry, sir. She's two and sitting still is not her strength."
"THIS IS NOT AN AMUSEMENT PARK!"
"I know. I'm sorry but..."
"GET A HOLD OF YOUR KID!"
If the journey was more important than the destination, visiting far away lands would be an adults only operation. Children would have to stay home. They would not attend weddings and meltdown on dance floors. They would not take in the views or cross borders seated on sweaters after soaking through their clothes during long drives. We would all sleep on airplanes, read on airplanes, watch movies on airplanes. We would all be rested as we climbed to the rock overlooking the world.
1. A two year old who is terrified of flying and
2. A two year old who is terrified of sitting in an airplane seat for more than three seconds.
If only we could go to the place with the view without the screaming and the accidents and the tantrums and the inability to sleep or nap while traveling.
If only we could fly in peace and quiet.
If only the journey was as relaxing as the moment we are taking in the scenic views of Lake Champlain.
Ah, but it isn't.
The journey is NOTHING LIKE the destination when traveling with small children. Not even close. The journey is very much the journey. Between long plane rides and layovers, shuttle rides and lost luggage, wet socks and being up for sixteen hours straight. (My kids do not sleep on planes. Bummer.) And yet, we do it anyway. We do it because there is no other way to get from one end of the country to another. We do it because it's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. We do it because there are going to be times in our lives when people hate us.
Because sometimes you have no choice but to be THOSE people and it's humbling.
To be hated.
To be yelled at.
To be sneered at when leaving an airplane with a child who is still hysterical.
These last eleven days, spent mainly amongst trees and valleys, surrounded by lakes and the natural landscape, family and abundant beauty, I've felt incredibly small, humbled, grateful. And in the hours it took to get there, bruised and battered trying to wrangle and calm and not get punched by the angry dude in the Von Dutch hat, even more so...
Because every last journey must come to an end. Maybe that's why we, as parents, can't stop taking photographs...
The war happened.
The hairs were in clumps on the floor.
But I would rather see the sun...