April 01, 2010

Destination: Orlando

It didn’t occur to me until this morning while waiting to board the plane for Orlando exactly how many families take that flight to Florida over a holiday weekend. My son called me to tell me he loved me before he got out of the car for school. When he heard kids screaming in the background he asked me what was going on. After joking with him about all the other kids I had and never told him about he said, “April fool’s”. Smart kid. At that moment it entered my mind that I would be getting on a plane that for all intents and purposes was Disney bound. I have made this family flight myself.

Now, the idea of flying with kids doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I adore children. It is the parents I take issue with. Perhaps, I’m still unearthing childhood myself but when I hear a parent hurl shaming insults toward their precious cargo I have an overwhelming urge to smack them in child-defense. I want to instruct that parent on the spot. I wanted to ask the woman in front of me today, “Really? You really think he can sit still AND up straight for a two hour flight? He is only four!” Even I need to adjust or stand up during that amount of time.

I am a mom. I understand parental frustration. Lord knows I don’t handle every moment with my son as well as June Cleaver. And I am not going to be writing a parenting book or advice column anytime soon; although, if he makes it through medical school and never holds up a 7-11, I am not ruling it out.

I often wonder about parents who don’t allow kids to be kids. Kids squirm, talk and ask funny questions. I was sitting positioned well for some field research today. The mom in front of me was sitting with two children, about four and ten years old. The mom and dad behind me had a child about two or three years old.

The mom in front of me was in serious need of a valium. Her poor little excited kids did very little that pleased mom today. I think they heard the words no, quit, stop and don’t more times than I have heard in the last year. The mom behind me was talking about the plane and their trip the entire flight. So, guess which family deplaning included a full-blown temper tantrum?

So similar to most things in life parenting seems to be. Comparable scenarios but very different reactions…one of the responses pushed toward the positive and the other launched in the direction of doom!

I guess that really is a life lesson for me (and many)…my reaction is vital to the unfolding events of my daily journey. Today I am going to stick with an optimistic outlook and keep the negative at bay for another day. Even though my particular destination isn’t Disneyworld I will think of my life as an excursion to the happiest place on earth.

Cheers parents!

No comments: