Dear Mom on Delta flight 2646 out of Salt Lake City, Utah to Orlando,
I remember seeing your two really small (and adorable) babies toddling their way around the gate. I was there extremely early just waiting to go home to my own two kids. It was a long day for me, so I can
only imagine relate to what a 5pm departure is like for two babies under two. I was seated between two passengers who wouldn’t even look at me, let alone talk to me. I was trapped. As soon as we took off, my instinct kicked in to try and help you with your babies who weren’t handling that flight very well. I wanted to get out of my seat so many times to try and help you, but the flight was so turbulent that I wasn’t permitted to get up. I also grappled with the idea of helping you because in this day and age, what “weirdo” gets up to hold someone else’s baby? I just wanted to make it all better. I saw an earlier, unrested, frustrated, tired version of myself. (Technically, I’m still that version!)
I want you to know I’ve been there. In fact, most of us have been. You and your sister were so exhausted and I know exactly how that feels. In 2012, we took our son on a family trip. OF COURSE life would see to it that he came down with a double ear infection the day before we are scheduled to fly home. In short, it was a freaking nightmare. He cried the entire time… and so did I. We were traveling with family but the poor kid only wanted me. All I wanted to do was make him stop crying but more than that, I wanted to ease his pain and I just couldn’t. We tried every trick in the book to no avail. By the time we landed, my husband and I were so fried that we declared that we aren’t traveling until the kids are older.
I want to let you know that it gets easier. I know that when other moms would tell me that, I didn’t believe them. I remember thinking that they didn’t understand and that was just what veteran moms said. What you’re going through right now is SOOOO hard. It’s the main reason I started writing, because there was a time when I felt like no one understood. Sometimes, I still feel like that. I want to let you know that you’re enough, that you’re going to make it, and that it’s completely okay to be as frustrated as I know you were. I’m the woman that passed you that note after we landed, knowing you’d never see me again.
Maybe one day, when you’re looking back on how fast they’ve grown, you’ll remember that strange woman on the airplane who took the time to write a note on the back of her boarding pass, with the intention and hope of offering you some comfort. Now that I look back on those days, I am forever grateful for the woman who passed one to me.