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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Heading out for Texas.....

When S was about Izzy's age, he went on a couple of plane trips with me.  He did really well on those flights and mostly slept while we were in the air; however, he does not remember it.  Not remembering it has been such a big disappointment for him since he loves airplanes and he has long begged for us to please please please fly somewhere so he can remember riding in an airplane.  He finally got his wish as we flew to Texas to visit family recently.

We read books on airplanes and flying and went over what it was like on a plane and in the airport and how you had to behave and what to expect.  We decided what things to bring on the plane to bring comfort and distraction.  We packed our bags.  We were off!

The part I dreaded the most was getting through security because we had three kids, one stroller, three car seats (well, one was a booster but I'm throwing it in the car seat pile), four personal bags, three carry on wheeled suitcases, and the various and sundry things one finds in pockets and electronics needing to be pulled out of bags and kids scared of the metal detectors and one child with titanium rods in his arm who may or may not set off the detectors......  Well, you get the idea.  We had a lot of stuff to be sent through scanners and then re-gathered up.  But as we approached security, a friendly TSA agent waved us over and sent us through the priority line.  Another very patient TSA agent checked our IDs and boarding passes and let S hand them to her and take them back and she stayed patient even when he got distracted and didn't pay attention ;)  Yet another friendly TSA agent completely closed down the security line we were in and opened another nearby so we did not have to rush to get our stuff on the line and packed back up on the other side.  When nearby agents were free, they came over to help us put things on the belt and coax children through and generally were just nice and friendly and helpful.  The big city near our home has a reputation for being a not-so-nice place but there certainly are a lot of great people here :)  Every time I have flown out of or into this airport, I have had good experiences and our first big flight with all the kids was no exception.

We had time to kill once we got through security--we arrived about two hours before our flight just to make sure we had enough time for check in and security and the inevitable bathroom breaks ;)  But the kids were so excited about all the new sights and sounds that the time went by rather fast.  We walked around to get the wiggles out of them and then we settled down near our gate to watch planes and the ground crew.  This was Izzy's first time seeing anything like this up close so she was absolutely fascinated.  I don't think we got her away from the window at all until it was time to go :)  She kept saying "WOW!" and pointing and dancing and was just excited to be there.  B had never been this close either and kept trying to climb through the window to get even closer.  I think he thought maybe the ground crew would let him help if only he could get down there with them.

S played it much more cool but you could tell he was also thrilled to be so close to the planes :D  He was very excited that we would soon be on the plane but nervous at the same time.  S is my worrier.  About everything.  That boy worries about things that are extremely unlikely (such as a hurricane hitting us.  We get some rain but are too far away from the coast to get much more than that) but he frets and frets.  Luckily, his anxiety over flying was pretty low-key and his excitement won out.

When it was time to board, I had to give many reminders to wait patiently--they were ready to just push past everyone on the plane so they could find their seats :p  There was the inevitable exploration of the seats and the million and one questions of what's this?  and that? and this?  We had to open and close the air vents, aim them multiple ways, check to make sure the lights worked, move the window shade up and down, play with the seat belts, and check out all magazines and information cards in the seat pockets.  Taxiing out to the runway was met with giggles--it was just like riding in a car.  Takeoff was accompanied by huge eyes as we were pressed back in our seats and then B saying over and over "we up high? HIGH, MOMMA, WE HIGH.  Go back down now?"  HA!  Sorry, kiddo, we have a while to go before we go back down.

At this point, I should like to thank the inventor of the portable DVD player and headphones.  They are sanity savers ;)