Last week I took baby home for the first time. Home, being a relative term and often a state of mind, in this instance refers to the home of my childhood, the place where my mom tucks me in and I get to share a bed with my sister and I can walk to get the most delicious muffins in existence and my dad comes home and yells ‘hello’ as loud as he can to find out who else is in the house and a couple of my best friends in the whole world live a bike ride away. To the U.P., the place of my birth and, let’s be honest, a place that will be a defining factor in baby’s life no matter where she goes to elementary school.
The one problem with home is that it’s, well, far away. From almost everywhere. Except Green Bay, Wisconsin. And I don’t live there. So in order to get baby to the mother country, it was going to take a bit of travel. By plane. Without Dave. With the baby. DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNN.
Let me start by saying, despite my love of travel, I hate traveling. I love getting somewhere, I love exploring, I love the little adventures that come along the way. But I hate the logistics of the journey. I hate the lines, the crowds, the timetables. I hate carrying things and shuffling into tiny spaces with recylced hot air and turbulence. My god the turbulence. Traveling, especially by plane in the post 9/11 era that requires shoe removal and weird regulations on liquid volumes, makes me sweat. Traveling with an infant for the first time without my partner made me pit-out my shirt instantly upon departure from my apartment.
Generally speaking, everything went really well. We got through security with little fanfare, we found our gate, I kept my excessive sweating hidden under a cardigan.
On the leg of our journey, both there and back, that involved a teeny tiny plane we were offered the chance to board early and get settled. Not that it really matters when the plane holds about 40 people, but the thought was there. On the leg out our journey, both ways, when we were boarding a giant jet we were offered no such courtesy. So I sweated as we moved at a snail’s pace down the jetway, holding 15 pounds of baby, carrying 20 pounds of diaper-backpack, and shuffled 3 inches every 4 minutes until we finally reached our seat.
Sidenote: Nothing makes you feel more hated and yet more powerful than the look of every seated passenger as you come closer and closer to them, watching them become believers as they pray to anyone who is listening that they don’t have to sit next to the baby.
The back pain and perspiration were all worth it, of couse, to be home with my family and best friends for a few days so that baby could start to get to know her roots. The visit, as visits tend to be, was much too short, but I look forward to a longer one in the summer.