A post from our very own Lisa Robertson who volunteers with us at The Mother's Nest as a mentor, and on our Mom Squad...
“Ladies and gentleman, as we prepare for descent, we ask that you please put your tray tables up and return your seats to their upright positions.”
Dear Lord, please, please, please, PLEASE let Avery be content as we land. PLEASE!!!
“Okay, Avery…we have to clean up the crayons. Time to turn off the iPad and put it away. The plane is going to land and we have to sit nice and still in our seat together.”
Why in the world didn’t I get her her own seat???
Avery (then 18 months) and I were on our first flight of the day, heading from Dallas to our connecting flight in Atlanta and then from Atlanta to Akron/Canton. We had spent a long weekend in Dallas visiting a friend and her also 18 month old. I had planned this trip like flying solo with an 18 month old was a good idea. What was I thinking??
Actually, it wasn’t ALL that bad. She was a perfect angel on the two flights down to Dallas a few days before…other than the 103 degree temperature she spiked from cutting two of her back molars. Luckily, I had packed just about everything but her crib into a backpack that I carried on with us. No, seriously, it was basically like Hermione’s handbag…I had pipe cleaners, crayons, coloring books, iPad, portable DVD player, DVDs, books, slinky, snacks, more snacks, juice, squeezable applesauce, play jewelry, and ADVIL!!! YES!!! One shot of Advil and Avery was feeling like herself again. And better yet, on our second leg down to Dallas we were in a 3 seat row and we were the only filled seat!
Thank you, God! Thank you for the 3 row seat with no one else in it but us!
We had such success on our way down to Dallas, why wouldn’t Avery do just as well on the way home??
Who was I kidding?
As I packed away the iPad and took away Avery’s crayons, I could tell I was playing with fire. I thought we could be in for a long descent and so was everyone else on the plane. Besides the fact that we had to pack up everything that Avery was happily playing with on the plane, it was just about nap time for her. We also were up WAY earlier than normal that morning. For my daughter, that is a lethal combination. These fellow passengers were all about to discover a new meaning to the phrase, “Prepare for descent.”
Avery. Went. Crazy.
I mean, I can’t even explain how crazy she went. I’m not sure anyone on the plane could explain how crazy she went. I often tell this story and compare it to an exorcism occurring. She went NUTS!!
She was screaming, crying, kicking the poor guy’s seat in front of me, elbowing the poor man beside me, pulling my hair, flailing her arms in the air, growling. It was a true work out trying to contain her. I was somehow able to form a human straight jacket with my arms and locked Avery inside of it.
I was sweating. I wanted to cry. And I just wanted to crawl under my plane seat and die.
Lord, please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t even know what to pray, but please make her stop!!!
I’m reaching under the seat in front of me into my Hermione bag and I grab a juice pouch. My hands are shaking as I try to get that darn plastic straw through the foil and into the pouch, while still trying to maintain my human straight jacket hold. The poor man beside me turns and asks “Can I help you with anything?” I basically throw the juice pouch at him asking him to open it. He tries to get that darn straw through the foil pouch and can’t get it either.
But wait…Avery is settling down. Is it possible she has actually tired herself out after wrestling for the past 15 minutes in a 2 ft. by 2 ft. area with her opponent belted into a plane seat? It is possible…and in that moment, Avery curled up and fell asleep on my shoulder.
And in that same moment, the ugly, scary, embarrassing exorcism she had just partaken in went away. Now she was my sweet sleeping angel who looked so innocently beautiful. I brushed my fingers over her hair and cheeks and took a deep breath.
We landed and had to wait on the plane for a gate. The taxiing took longer than normal. I didn’t mind because it gave Avery time to sleep longer, but in the back of my mind, I was thinking…
We only have a 50 minute layover. I CANNOT miss this connecting flight home. I cannot be stuck in an airport with her alone. How will I entertain her? What will we do? Come on, pilot, taxi faster, get us to a gate!!!
We finally get to a gate, get off the plane and head towards our new gate. If you’ve ever been to the Atlanta airport, you know how big it is. Often times, you must get on those moving walkway things AND a shuttle to get to your next gate and that’s exactly what we had to do. By this point, our next flight was boarding. I was run walking as fast as I could with Avery in her stroller and my giant Hermione bag on my back. We get off the shuttle and head towards the escalators, because we did not have time to wait for an elevator. I quickly get Avery out of her stroller, pick her up and go to grab the stroller to drag it up the escalator with us, when a man in uniform grabs the stroller.
“Go ahead up with her. I’ll grab your stroller for you.”
And we step onto the escalator with him right behind us.
“Where ya headed?”, he asks, making small talk as we ride to the next floor.
“Akron/Canton…home. Our flight is boarding right now so we are trying not to miss it.”
“Well, you’re in luck. I am the pilot for that flight and the plane is not leaving without me.”
Thank you, God. THANK YOU!
Often times, as mothers we must prepare for descent…your child is throwing a fit in the grocery store, they missed their nap for the day and are now a nightmare at your in-laws for dinner, they are teething AGAIN and you can’t get them to sleep…your husband is out of town for work, so you are on your own with the kids, sickness in the family, juggling all the many things you must juggle as a mom, the list goes on. We must prepare ourselves and our family to get through this.
Motherhood takes much perseverance. And while my example of flying solo with Avery is quite the extreme (unless you fly often with your toddler playing the role of a lap infant) it does paint a picture of how much WORK motherhood can be. The word perseverance is defined as steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Reading that definition, it really does seem to describe motherhood.
We mother, everyday, despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Flying solo with Avery was DIFFICULT. Remaining patient with her behavior as she acted horribly on the plane was DIFFICULT. Dealing with the “terrible two’s” daily is DIFFICULT. Being a mom, and putting another person before yourself 100% of the time, is DIFFICULT! But I do it anyways. We do it anyways.
We remain steadfast. We must remain steadfast daily because that is what God has called us to do. He has called me to be a mother and He has called me to persevere so that my child will achieve success.
James 1:4 says, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Mothering is certainly not something that shows immediate success. It takes time to teach your child to walk, to use manners, to look both ways before crossing the street, to make smart decisions as they begin making their own decisions, to strive every day to be more Christ-like.
But that is our job as mothers.
That is what God has called us to do because He trusts us. He knows we can do it. He calls us to persevere so that WE may become mature and complete. And because we persevered as mothers, our children will someday persevere in their lives, too, becoming mature and complete.
Read more from Lisa on her blog: Mess Into Message here!