The following was inspired by actual events.

Park car at remote facility.  Board bus to terminal with children in tow.  Watch as children try to select seats on empty remote parking bus.  Watch as they change seats several times during the two minute drive to terminal.  Know that no matter what exciting adventure lays before them, this is probably the one thing they will talk about – the Awesome Parking Bus.

Arrive at terminal. Play referee regarding which child has to take one of your three suitcases and roll it behind him.  Choose Child “A” making the point that they can switch along the way.  Child “A” begrudgingly takes suitcase and walks 17 yards before declaring complete exhaustion, stopping in the middle of concourse and letting the rolly suitcase tip over.  Ask Child “B” to take over.  Child “B” complains that Child “A “didn’t take a long enough turn.  People are now staring at you.  Move to Plan “C.”  Grab suitcase and march forward with two suitcases, a lap top bag and a scowl.

Approach the security gate.  Ponder whether or not to tell your kids not to joke about bombs, knowing if you tell them not to say the word “bomb” near security, they will have to say the word “bomb”.  Remain silent.

When child asks why you need to remove liquids from bags, tell him you will discuss it later.  When he persists, tell him that you are not allowed to speak during security checks.  When he asks why, tell him that the TSA agent will throw you in prison.  Watch as tears well up in his eyes.  Immediately tell him you are kidding and quietly explain that there are evil people who want to blow up planes with liquid and they have to check to make sure that….at which points he interrupts with, “WHY WOULD YOU BLOW UP A PLANE???????”  Wait to be taken into custody.

After making through security somehow, approach moving sidewalk.  Even though you only have 3 gates to go and the sidewalk is a non-stop ride 10 gates down, let your kids jump on.  Turn to your husband to ask him when he thinks the kids will outgrow the moving sidewalk.  When he is not there, look up to find him on the moving sidewalk.

Arrive at gate and see that flight is delayed by at least an hour.  Look for someone to blame.  Choose husband.

With extra time, proceed to fill up on junk food.  Agree to extra large ice cream as that should kill another 3 minutes of wait time.  Despite the arsenal of electronic equipment your children have brought along, they only want to play Brick Breaker on your blackberry.  Hand over phone.

As you board plane, pass along your superstition of touching the outside of the plane before you board to your children, crippling them with irrational behavior for the rest of their lives.

Head down the aisle to your seats, preparing yourself for the big fight over who gets to sit with Mommy.  Be totally insulted unprepared when the fight is actually over who gets to sit with Daddy.  And his new iPad.  Yes, folks, there is something better than a mother’s love.   You have just become the consolation prize.

Watch in amazement how quickly your children turn off their electronic devices when directed to do so by the flight attendant.  Wonder why they didn’t resists and tell the flight attendant to “wait until they reach a good stopping point so they don’t lose their place.”  Suddenly realize that they have been completely hosing you for the last five years.

Throughout flight observe how chatty your children have suddenly become as they run through entire comedy monologues, make observations about the meaning of life, and ask questions you have no answers to such as:

What is keeping this plane up in the air?
Can we crash from turbulence?
Why are we circling so much?
Why are we being re routed to Scranton?
Are we going to die?

Answer all questions with confident, reassuring responses except the last one to which you reply, “If you want to live, you will stop talking now.”

Arrive at destination.  Finally.  Calmly soothe child as they desperately ask “WHAT IS TAKING THESE PEOPLE SO LONG TO GET OFF THE PLANE???” knowing that what you really want to do is respond with “I DON’T KNOW! I HAVE ALWAYS ASKED MYSELF THAT SAME QUESTION. IT’S THE SAME THING WITH WOMEN IN RESTROOMS WHEN THERE IS A LINE.  PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW HOW TO MOVE QUICKLY!!”

As you enter the terminal, catch glimpse of your reflection in window.  Observe that you have aged 10 years.  Look for moving sidewalk.

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