To the cranky old man, young business guy and carefree, backpacking girl rolling your eyes and angrily glaring at the parents of young kids on the plane, this one is for you.
Yes, I know you didn’t buy this ticket because you wanted to sit in a confined, small place with my children. I get that. I didn’t want to make a bunch of strangers miserable for hours on end either. I didn’t really sign up for that.
Maybe you are one of those people who believe that the sky should only be reserved for those over ten, or at least those old enough to control their emotions so that they don’t scream when they are annoyed, only roll their eyes and chew their gum even louder.
But the truth is, many of us that fly the friendly skies with wee ones are not doing it because we get a load of laughs from watching others, including our own kids, suffer.
We do it because that is how we live. We have moved our families abroad. That means a plane trip to our job. It also then means flying to see our families. While I believe your right to a quiet and peaceful flight is important. I think my kids right to see their grandparent’s and my home country now and then trumps your right to a few guaranteed hours of undisturbed sleep.
Most of us pack bags full of activities, snacks, distractions, screens, games and more in hopes that things will be slightly less painful for all of us involved. But it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes a kid gets airsick, or their ears hurt, or they cannot fall asleep on the plane and get overtired and lose it.
I’m sorry about all that, fellow passengers. It is certainly NOT what I want.
But my kids, even from 1 month old, are a part of our society. And that means flying and partaking in activities that are part of our society, when appropriate. And travelling to visit family, or move to mom or dad’s new job, is part of what our family does in this society.
I don’t take my kids to the most fancy restaurant in town, because I don’t have to. But I do take them on a plane, because I must.
So no, I will not buy you a drink, give you a pair of earplugs, or anything else I’ve been reading about online lately. You will have to take care of that yourself.
I will try to ignore your angry looks. But remember, not everything is about you. And just like my kids will have to learn that not everything is about them (and thus they cannot scream and act like they are babies on an airplane when they are older), maybe its time some of you grownups remember that when you buy a ticket for an airplane, what it is exactly you are buying, a form of transport, a trip, not a day at a fancy spa.