We spent a few marvelous days with a dear friend of mine and her family on Marco Island. (ps – I released her podcast episode the day we left; listen here.)
We ate, we laughed, we talked, we sat on the beach, we played at the park, and so much more.
Anna did AMAZING on the two flights down. She’s been alllll about airplanes and helicopters the past few months so she loved seeing them.
A few things that worked for us with a 2.5 year old on a flight:
- Snacks, snacks, snacks
- Two of her favorite books
- I held back a few toys for the flight home so she had a little variety (helpful toys included a boogie board, small sketchbook with crayons and these magnetic puzzles)
- iPad mini and headphones for music and Owlegories that we never used until the traveling home
- One favorite stuffed animal to carry around
Our trip home was not as fabulous as our trip down. Due to stormy weather we sat on the airplane for an extra hour before we took off and took a more unique route. Because of the delay, we missed our connecting flight home and after an overwhelming hour figuring out what the best solution would be, decided to stick it out in the airport for the only other flight going to our area, 11:00pm. Anna hadn’t slept a wink all day and had some gnarly moments, but for the most part was a TROOPER (incredibly thankful for the grace in a relatively chill-personality’d child). I shed some tears at the disappointment, but John was a champion as always.
It was a perspective-shifter for me. I’ll think twice before losing it or grumbling about a challenging afternoon at home because at least we aren’t confined to 3 feet of space in an airplane stuck in the air surrounded by other people in such close quarters.
It was a medium-sized wave. John and I have a new way of categorizing challenges, which helps us gauge how much worry or energy to give it. A lingering cold while 28 weeks pregnant? Unpleasant, but a small foamy wave. Managing an overtired toddler, carrying luggage through the airport, staying away when we ourselves had been up for over 18 hours, waiting to get home? I’d say it felt like a medium-ish size wave. And there was nothing to do but stay in the wake of it. It was out of our control and our choices were to wallow or endure the best we could.
I took a page from my friend Anna’s book and left the question open for God, Who are you, here? There was no response for the first 3.5 hours of our airport hanging, but eventually there was, “Here I’m still God.” It was a discouraging experience, and with my toddler’s struggling, it felt a little stifling. But in the out-of-our-control circumstances and the hard stretching of our capacities, He remained God. For us. A presence to find comfort in, a reason for gratitude, a stabilizing hand in a moment that felt anything but. Nothing can stop Him from being Himself.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes as I wonder about the future, knowing that trying moments are inevitable, I second-guess whether the reality of God will be enough to change my mood. I confess, in this case, other than the fact we HAD a flight home, I was never overly thankful for the situation, but I did remember and realize I was held by the steadiest and strongest and gentlest of arms.