Sunday, January 3, 2010

An open letter to mankind

Dear people of the world,

I have a request. It is hard for me to write this because I used to be one of you. It was not so long ago that I walked in your shoes. I too was a sophisticated traveler. There was a time in recent memory that I was flying first class from Athens to Rome. I hopped on a plane and flew from Barcelona to New York. I enjoyed my ipod, my books, my comfy leg room, and my lobster bisque. I, like you, prayed whenever I saw a child board a plane that they would not be sitting next to me. I scowled at parents who couldn't control their children and I silently mocked their helpless plights. I now feel ashamed.

See, I have become them. That woman running down the terminal with a screaming toddler on her hip while stuffing cheerios in said toddlers mouth has become sadly familiar. That parent on the plane who is bribing their child with every toy imaginable to no avail has become yours truly. Instead of carrying a bag filled with my journal, a bottle of water, and my wallet, I now carry a oversized bag filled with plush toys, Dr. Seuss books, and sippy cups. I now know their pain and I apologize for all previous mocking.

And I ask you to do the same. If a 1 year old is jumping on her airplane seat repeatedly and it is causing your seat to vibrate, don't get mad. If a baby is wailing because their ear hurts, try to understand. If a Mickey Mouse doll somehow gets chucked at your head in a screaming fit, calmly hand it back. And if you see a woman holding two children that are sliding down her leg and she is trying to open a stroller with one hand, for the love of Pete, please help her.

After all, you may one day be her. And she does not need your scorn. She needs your prayers.

Lauren Webster

The calm before the storm. Notice how she is wearing my watch. The, "I will do anything to keep her quiet" operation had already commenced.


starnes family said...

Oh, I have been there, too. I'll never fully recover from the flights to and from Hawaii with a 3 year old.

One day you'll laugh about it. I promise!

Brittny said...

BLESS YOU!!!!!!!!!! I haven't flown with both kids, but I did when I was quite pregnant with a toddler. But I thank the sweet Lord that my mother-in-law could join me. AL to CA just wasn't my idea of a good time by myself.

The Khans said...

I hear you Lauren. It's even worse when the kids seem to be behaving nicely in your mind and the guy in front of you tells you that he can't sleep because your child is laughing from being sooo tired. I wanted to hurt him. Thankfully they both went to sleep soon after. Oh the joys of airplane travel. Most of the time we have had very nice companions so keep on trucking and praying for the next time. And thanks for the congrats. We are excited.

Carmen & Eddie said...

I hear you loud and clear!!!! You are a brave woman!! Raf was in Atl for Christmas and was asking me to jump a plane with the two boys... I said NO WAY JOSE!!!!

Stacy said...

Better to travel and annoy the whole dang plane than to never travel at all! Still, I know it probably took the Momma DAYS to recover. Bless you!