On the weekend of September 10th, we made a quick weekend trip. On Friday I used my True Blue points on Jetblue to get two tickets to Dulles airport, connecting through Orlando. On Sunday, we used American Airlines frequent flyer miles to fly back home from BWI with a connection in Miami. The following Saturday morning it was back to the airport, American Airlines again - but this time they were two paid seats in coach that took us all the way to Spain and back, with connections on each leg. That's eight separate flights in the month of September alone.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Over the last ten years, I've done an awful lot of flying. Before Radar came along, it was still a pain to fly, but at least I had the whole routine down pat. I knew all the tricks for minimizing the hassles. It was all carry-on... quick layovers... upgrades or emergency seats... and no one ever rolled their eyes at me or sighed when they were behind me when going through security... I was fast!
That's all history now. It's hard to quantify the magnitude of 'worse-ed-ness' and 'pain-in-the-butt-ed-ness' of traveling with a small child - particularly airline travel - particularly single parent airline travel! I can no longer arrive at a destination in a 'ready-to-go' state. I am haggard, frazzled and exhausted. I always have to check in bags. I choose longer layovers. No more upgrades or emergency seats. And when people see me in the security line, they frantically move to another line to avoid being stuck behind me and when they do get stuck behind me, they most definitely roll their eyes and sigh!
Really... Radar is actually a good traveler and still, it really, really isn't easy (or fun much of the time) for me to fly with him. Yet at the age of 33 months, Radar's total flight tally is approaching 100! Sometimes after a particularly harrowing trip, I will often remind myself that Radar isn't even going to remember any of this. 100 flights. Dozens of visits to family and friends from the tip of Florida to the heart of Maine. Two trips to Spain. And he won't retain a single memory of any of it.
So why do it so much? Why not put the money aside and save it for trips he'll actually remember... like Disney when he's 5... or Spain when he's 8, etc, etc. There are some trips we can't avoid, but many, many more are planned with the full knowledge that it'll be exhausting for me and that he won't remember them.
And I guess the best answer I can come up with is that I think it's well, well worth it!
First - we all know that it isn't really a choice between traveling now or when he's a little older. I can't see a future where I'm not dragging Radar all over the place whenever an opportunity presents itself.
Second - as big of a pain as it is for me, it's even more of a joy. I guess it's like motherhood itself. To say it's easy is a lie... but it enriches everything. Radar has become my very favorite travel companion ever! I hate going on trips without him.
And most importantly - conscious memories aside... I believe that all this traveling is ingraining in Radar an ability to adapt to change, an appreciation for diversity and a verve for adventure.
So, with that theory firmly set in my belief system, we'll hop on yet another flight next Friday... this time back to New York where I'll be attending a "Single Mothers by Choice" conference and then we'll spend a long weekend with Hannah & her mommies in Long Island!
Lots of love,
Titi and Radar
PS - I read all your comments... both anonymous and identified... and I agree. I've long wanted to start really putting down on paper all the different branches and leaves of my Pazos-side (and that includes Vea, since our particular brand of Pazos was merged with a Vea) family tree and bring them to life with stories that people remember or have otherwise filtered down to us through time. Sounds like a goal... I'll give it some thought and get back to you on how you can help me accomplish it!
PSS - Although this post was all about traveling, I must say that it sure is nice to hang out at home for a couple of week... especially when home includes a year-round beautiful beach that most people would have to go through plenty of travel-hassles to get to!!!!
This weekend at Old Fort Bay Beach