Earlier this year my family flew to California. We were all supposed to fly together, but at the last minute my husband had to change his flight for an important meeting at work.
This left me with the predicament of choosing to either change all of our tickets (which would not only be monetarily costly, but it would also cost us an entire day of vacation) or fly by myself with the 4 kids.
Apparently, I am a glutton for punishment because I chose to fly on my own with the kids.
I really wasn’t even that worried about the endeavor except getting through the airport security. At security the toddlers can no longer be strapped to a carseat or stroller, everyone seems to be in a hurry, I have to put all my belongings/accessories/luggage/etc through the scanner, and did I mention that the toddlers are no longer contained in any capacity? Never mind the fact that we always seem to set of some sort of alarm… water bottles, pocket knives, explosives detected (these are all real things, I can’t even try to explain).
The night before we left I prayed that everything would go smoothly, especially in the security line. As I turned the corner and saw the GIANT line I thought maybe God missed my memo but we hopped in line despite the unfriendly (to say the least) glances we were receiving.
Fair enough, I guess, 1 mom, 4 hooligans… who wants to stand in line next to that?
(Check out the guy in the top left corner.)
As our turn approached I felt the stress level rising. I had devised a game plan… I assigned a big to each little, pulled out the electronic devices and liquids, and had the boarding passes ready. As I handed over the paper work to the man at the kiosk he made some crass statement about how brave (I have come to realize that brave is code for crazy/stupid in these types of situations) I was to fly with all these kids on my own.
Uh huh, it’s a dream come true, buddy.
Any who… on to the dreaded portion of security. The part where I feel like a well assembled deli sandwich that gets thrown against the wall. I hate the feeling of being so disassembled… but as my shoes and wallet went one direction, my kids were heading another and of course the stroller wouldn’t fit through the scanner so off it went to the inspection area.
In the middle of my chaos a middle-aged woman behind me started striking up a coversation about how she also has four kids, yada, yada, yada… I was having a hard time paying attention to what she was saying as I was just trying to keep an inventory of my belongings and children.
As I tuned back in to her I heard her say, “that’s why I got in line behind you.”
She was protecting me.
She was helping me herd my kids.
She was intentionally going slowly to take some of the pressure off of me/us.
She was an answer to my prayer.
When we made it through to the other side and started to reassemble I thanked her and told her that I had prayed for her last night. I briefly explained what had happened to our travel plans and how I was anxious about getting through security. She hugged me and we parted ways.
This sacrificial act of kindness was such a gift to me. I don’t even think I got her name, but that woman, who remembered what it was like to be a young mom of four munchkins, put up some beautiful wings of protection over me and my kiddos. She didn’t judge me for the way my kids were splintering off or being silly and loud. She didn’t let the business folks crowd and rush me. She just helped and for that I could not be more grateful.
As mamas we need to be helpers for one another.
Together we can do this motherhood thing better.