We have been blessed to get many opportunities to travel with our kids.
By plane, train, bus and car – they have done it all. And thank God, we as parents have been pretty good at handling the kids through these adventures.
But now it’s not even the actual “travel” part I mind so much. It’s when we reach our destination that I start reaching for the Motrin.
Goodbye, cheerful flight attendant. Hello, horrible jetlag.
Mind you, I enjoy traveling. And especially now that we live so far from family, going home is so much sweeter than before. But kids on jetlag could potentially be used as a form of torture. Mix in a change-of-weather fever, and you are set!
All of a sudden those kids you seemed to have in control have now become a different kind of creature – those who thrive on no sleep and sugar-coated cereals. As you finally nod off to dreamland, you are awoken by a 6-year-old at 2 a.m. who is hungry. Or a 3-year-old who forgot to go to the potty. And since you are living out of a suitcase, you spend the next 15 minutes literally playing hide-and-seek with clothes.
And that’s when I miss being home. I miss my routines. I miss not living out of a suitcase.
But I digress. Traveling also makes me a little giddy. The excitement of packing and knowing you are going to see loved ones. The fun of watching your kids enjoy their trip with their own suitcase and get little presents from the flight attendants.
As the kids get older, I have also found that the more flexible you are while traveling, the easier it gets. I break all the rules: candy at takeoff? Sure thing! TV nonstop? No problem!
And I try to give myself an extra million doses of patience, too. Kids aren’t going to cooperate the entire time, and you must leave room for that. There are going to be lines, there is going to be waiting. I like to play “I Spy” or hand out extra fruit snacks during these times.
Traveling can be a pain, but I like to look at the gold pot at the end – and that is knowing I am going to visit family and spend time with those I love! Can’t beat that!