Military mama: Have kids, will travel

I can see the terror in their eyes.

We approach our gate at the airport and they immediately start showing signs of dread — raised eyebrows, deep sighs and quiet muttering (at least the polite ones keep it quiet).

So what if we have a double stroller and additional small child to control? So what if we’re outnumbered by our children and have not one but two potentially screaming babies?

I do my best to pretend I’m not having an inner-anxiety attack worrying about all of the squeaks and squirms my babies might muster. I have prepared like a super mom with bottles, pacifiers, teethers, blankies, diapers and assorted toys at the ready. My son has noise-free toys, coloring books and crayons to pass his time. I’ve done the preparation, but that’s the only aspect over which I have complete control; the rest is rolling the dice.

So when I hear folks say, “Why don’t they just drive?” I think to myself: “Why don’t you just drive? You won’t have to make 17 stops to go potty, change diapers or clean spit up. You probably won’t have to stop for an unscheduled overnighter at a hotel simply because you can’t take the crying and whining anymore. You might even be able to enjoy some peace and quiet in the car, if you choose.”

Sure, taking a car is a valid form of travel and may work out in certain situations. However, it is not always worth the pain and expense. Riding a horse is transportation, too, but I don’t see many hopping on Trigger and riding off into the sunset to get where they’re headed either. Valid doesn’t always equate to feasible.

We’re military. We travel.

Guess what? We bought our tickets. We purchased the right to travel just like you did. If you would like a perfectly quiet, relaxing ride take your private jet out for a spin. Can’t afford that? Neither can we. That’s why we’re here with you.

As a mom, I vow I will do everything in my power to keep these kiddos happy and quiet throughout the flight. But sometimes cries happen. It’s a minor annoyance about public travel, just as I keep to myself the fact that this man smells like cigars and onions, that she is snoring loudly, or that this one is chomping her gum like a cow chewing cud.

So that disgusted look is not merited. I am not a criminal. I simply have children.

So let’s all take a deep breath and enjoy our flight … mmmk?