When I was a kid, I would dream of adventures - rocketing into outer space, riding wild ponies in the West, hunting for lost ruins in the Amazon. But none of that can compare to the excitement, thrill and challenge of shepherding four children age 2 to 14 through the modern day security ridden world of air travel.
Usually there are five, but one was at camp. The trip started from Boston at 5 a.m. We were headed to grandma and grandpa's house in Wisconsin.
I actually think that it is physically easier to travel with my large crew with just two young ones because the older ones can help. They do, however, add their a mental challenge in trying to keep them in line and in good spirits.
Checking in was smooth. The security line was long, but bearable and orderly. That all ended at the front of the line where there was a flurry of shoes, bags, bins, coins, watches and wallets. First, three of mine tried to go through the security scan at once. That upset the security guard who then made us wait while he took several other people. On the other side we learned that two bags had to be inspected. No problem, let me just grab the stroller... which is over there, on the other side of the security scanner. Huh. Apparently, the big kids didn't hear me when I asked them to put it on the conveyor belt. I must say, the security people do not like it when you leave something behind. I thought about crying, that sometimes works. Then I thought about having the baby cry - she almost always gets what she wants. In the end, someone took pity on us before we had to resort to tears.
The bags were flagged for a bottle of shampoo, hand cream and a fruit cup. The first two were in the bag of the teenager, who heard dad's warning to go through her bags but was sure there was nothing in them. The fruit cup was mine. It turns out they're allowed, but you should put them out in the open in a bin.
We had just enough time to grab breakfast to go and get on the plane - where we sat for the next hour because no flights were going into or out of Chicago where we had to make a connecting flight. Thankfully, we've become experienced travelers over the years and had plenty to do. It helped that the airline put on Shrek 111.
The rest of the trip was smooth. Because no flights were going out of Chicago, we were able to make the connection despite arriving so late.
I had my trusty knitting to go kit with me but entertaining the 2 and 5 year old kept me busy. I really need to teach them the art!
Meanwhile, the 14yo finished the entire new Harry Potter book! She remarkably has been able to refrain from telling the rest of us what happens.