I was reading through some of my old e-mails and found this one about a plane trip I took in March of 2000. Reading this made me appreciate my recent trip all the more. At the time I wrote this, Diana was 8 months, Trent was 9, and Jared was 6. I thought it was kind of humous and so I thought I would post it here.
"Diana and I had a pretty easy time getting to the airport and on the plane. Once I got on the plane I started thinking about how pleasant it was to travel with only an infant. For instance I actually got to push the elevator button myself. This is a simple pleasure in life, I rarely experience. Usually the elevator scenario plays out like something akin to World War III. It begins with a mad dash to the elevator with a fair amount of pushing and shoving. Then the winner pushes the button, and the unlucky loser proceeds to fill the air with wailing and gnashing of teeth that sound something like "Why did he get to push the button, I wanted to push the button, I never get to push the button, he pushed it last time, he always gets to push the button" etc. etc. I think you get the picture. Why does pushing the elevator button carry such importance that it is worth such great turmoil? Does it say somewhere in the rules of life "Try to push as many elevator buttons as you possibly can." Is there an unseen counter somewhere that will some day say "You have pushed the elevator button 300 times and so you win a prize, but sorry you only pushed the button 250 times and so you are out of luck?" Gosh you would think lives or money were at stake with the way these kids fight over "Who gets to push the button." Perhaps I am missing out on something and need to get in on the fight. If anyone has any insight on this phenomenon I would love to be enlightened.
And then once the elevator scuffle is over, we move on to the "Who will push the stroller" battle. I never seem to learn to "just say NO" to the request to push the stroller. So I stupidly watch as my precious daughter is rushed off for another adventure in a strange version of roller derby/bumper cars. the stroller bumps into garbage cans, walls, or worse yet an unsuspecting pedestrian. I am sure that most people walk carelessly down the airport corridors, with out even a worry that a child wielding a stroller is closing in on them much like a shark closing in on its prey. It is at this point that I chase the stroller down and relieve the offending child of his stroller licence. But this did not happen on this trip as I enjoyed the simple pleasures of pushing an elevator button and the stroller all by myself.
But the fun did not end once we were on the plane. A young girl about 19 or 20 sat by me and actually used the phone from the back of the seat in front of her. I had to stifle my first impulse to say "Do not touch that phone if you want to keep your hand attached to your arm." You see Jared is obsessed with those phones, and every time we fly I spend much of my time and energy keeping him from even touching, let alone using the phone. I say over and over and over "No you can not call your friend, or Dad, or anyone for that matter, because we would like to have some money left to buy groceries or pay for college or something like that." My sister informs me that you must activate the phone with a credit card, but I was not aware of this, and had been worried that just picking it up would incur some outrageous fee and I can not even explain the amount of energy I have spent keeping him from even touching the darn thing over the years. Perhaps in the future I will not be so worried about it, but in the past it has been a big concern and so you can see why it seemed such a luxury that the phone could be not only touched, but used and I was not required to say or do one thing about it.
I got to Seattle about 5 and got home just in time for dinner. My sister and her 2 kids came over as well. After dinner we were having a nice time visiting. There was a vase with pussy willows sitting on the counter, and my nephew, who is five, took one of the fluffy buds and put it up his nose. It only took 3 adults, 30 minutes to remove the thing. I was glad once again that I was an impartial bystander instead of the parent. And I did not have to wonder just how much the emergency room would charge to remove a pussy willow from a child's nose if I could not get the thing out by myself."