This past week found my Adaline Sophia and me on a plane bound for San Francisco, via Denver.
Little did I know the adventure about to be set out in front of me.
We were heading to the west coast for some family time – family reunion time to be specific.
Addy has never met many of our relatives, save her uncles and aunt, and with her great-grandma recently turning 100, we thought this was a perfect time to baptize her into the Beaudoin/Reynolds insanity.
Just a month shy of turning 3, I’ve realized recently that the 2s really were not that terrible. These 3s, however, look to be a real challenge, however.
I brought all the requisite stuff on the plane to entertain her – a plethora of snacks, sippy cup, DVD player and favorite movies and grandma provided a backup full of books, stickers and other fun things.
Having the attention span of, well, a 3-year-old, Addy was doing a lot of shifting on the short flight to Denver. And shifting around in her seat as well.
The newest twist in the life of Addy is her hall of fame hissy fits the moment I discipline her on anything. It’s quite a scene.
Of course, on an airplane, it’s just mostly awful. Nothing can pacify or appease her. No amount of Dum-Dum suckers or goldfish crackers will calm the crying.
So, we land and all is well. Until we fly to San Francisco from Denver.
Now, of course, I realize most of this is my fault for any number of reasons: waking her up at 4 a.m. for a 6:30 flight; forcing a half day of travel on a little one; using the dreaded “hurry up” instead of letting her stop and smell the roses (or kiosks) at the airport due to my irrational fear of missing a flight. Take your pick.
Somehow, we made it and survived the hour-long car ride to Santa Cruz, where Addy got to meet all the extended family and her cousin, Amelia.
I tried cram to in all the California fun I could, while not overwhelming her, for the 48 hours we would be there – beach time, sandcastles, games on the boardwalk, trolley ride – things she won’t be able to do for a long time.
She would have good stretches and bad stretches. I often wondered if I should have even put her in this position to “be good” during what was probably a physically taxing trip on her.
It’s hard to put yourself in the shoes of such a young person.
At one point, she pointed into the ocean and screamed “dada, sailboat!”
A friend later reminded me that she’s only been on this earth for three years. She’s still making these daily, hourly even, discoveries.
I feel awful for the impatience I sometimes show her. The frustration. But I’m learning too, I suppose.
And, if even for a few hours, I hope she was able to process and retain some wonderful times with her family in California.
John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Lee’s Summit Journal. To comment, call 816-282-7001 or e-mail email@example.com.