So remember how scared I was about traveling for work with a three year old on my own just a week ago? I must report back and say that we had a superbly blessed trip and it was a great success.
First of all, the airplane travel. I only have two hands so we checked on bag and I pulled her through the airport in her normal car seat on the best travel invention since the wheel. This little car seat dolly makes navigating the airport possible and I always gate check it when we get on the plane.
Also we had a huge improvement since our trip to Amsterdam in the spring because she has learned to use the headphones. She watched the same two episodes of Elena of Avalor about 10 times, while I watched two whole movies. The truest thing about parenting is if you don’t like the stage you are in, just blink and there will be another stage. I’m now most looking forward to blinking and not having to lock us in the airplane bathroom together. If you think seats are getting small try fitting two people in those bathrooms. Suddenly the seats feel spacious.
I am raising a girl that marvels at many things. She absolutely though California was amazing. From the lights on the trees, to the rubber ducks in the fountain, to my friends daughter who Zoya thought was a real live princess, to the ‘boy and girl’ (another friend’s parents) who watched her while I worked, she told me many times that she was having the best time in California.
I was reminded that God is taking care of us and is stepping in as father to the fatherless. My biggest two worries of the trip were the people she was staying with while I was working and my work presentation. Both were positively idyllic.
Most of the time I know the truth of how much I’m struggling and only sometimes do I step back and realize that I’m struggling because the road is truly difficult. It’s easier to see in other people because our lives are the only lives we know. When a friend of three “confesses” she is exhausted, it’s plain as day to me that it’s not because she is weak but because her current stage is so objectively hard. My therapist likes to remind me that what I’m doing is hard. Often I don’t fully get it. I think I write about the struggles of grieving and solo parenting not just so others can understand but so that I can understand. But even my normal self blindness knows a five day trip to California for work with a three year old is slightly tougher than, well, so many things.
And so I breathe a sigh of grateful relief.