Flying Solo

While my lack of blog posts and disheveled hair may suggest otherwise, the truth is that I have not been consumed by motherhood to the point of no return. My absence from my laptop can be accounted for by my recent trip to Toronto for my brother’s wedding. With family functions a slew and a 3-hour time difference, any and all routines I had built over the last two months were tossed out the window. In such circumstances, we grown-ups manage to go with the flow. Babies, on the other hand, don’t fare too well in this situation. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. My type-A personality needs to recount this experience chronologically, and, in the interest of brevity, across several posts.  

1. Flying Solo

As my first post, The Big Move, described, flying with a baby is a feat, and certainly not for a the faint at heart. This time around I had no choice but to do it on my own.  

I booked a red-eye flight with the hopes of less crying and more sleeping. For the baby, that is. I was content not sleeping for a minute that night, so long as the baby wasn’t shrieking while we were both confined to the tiny, barely-sufficient-for-one-human-being-let-alone-two airline seat. And, that’s the thing with parenthood. Every comfort and basic human need you once could not do without is now so easily disposable in exchange for the mere possibility of a happy, healthy child. 

Every step of the way was a challenge; from going through security, to waiting at the gate, to boarding the plane, to take-off and landing, to collecting baggage. Every step of the way, I was a few hands short. I couldn’t fold the stroller while a disgruntled baby screamed and clawed at my face for waking him up to board the plane. I couldn’t gather my belongings while he squirmed uncontrollably to get out of my lap. 

Not once did I need to ask someone for help because every step of the way, someone willingly offered to lend a hand. And, for that, I am ever so thankful.

Thank you, stranger, for helping me fold the stroller before boarding the plane. 
Thank you, stranger, for making funny faces and sounds to distract the baby during take off. 
Thank you, stranger, for ripping your customs form to help me entertain the baby during landing. 
Thank you, strangers, for picking up dropped toys, clothes, and diapers. 
And, most of all, thank you, strangers, for not being annoyed and upset with my baby. Thank you for smiling understandably knowing that we both were trying our absolute best. 

So, while I won’t be flying solo anytime soon, it was certainly a memorable experience for me. My faith in humanity has been restored, and all it took was a 12-hour door-to-door trip. I am left in awe of the human condition. These are the same people who push and shove to populate a subway car every morning, the same people who won’t let you in when your lane is ending on the highway, and the same people who will give you a not-so friendly look if you dare to walk too slow on the sidewalk. I have learned that these people will reach out and help when the need is apparent. 

So often I hear moms talking about how scary it is to raise children in today’s world. Until recently, I would agree. But after this experience, I am no longer worried. We’re going to be just fine. 

Published by Anjali Joshi

Anjali Joshi is a science educator, author, and lifelong learner. She is mom to two curious boys who keep her on her toes!

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