Thursday, August 03, 2006

My sainthood nomination: mothers who travel with small children

(This was written on the 12 hour flight from Colombo to London. Yes there was a mother with a small child in in the same row, but the child was beautifully behaved and the flight was peaceful. I complemented the mother as we disembarked, which she seemed to appreciate).

We have all faced this circumstance on one or more international trips. After surviving the rigors of long lines and sterile, inhumane airport shopping malls, we settle into our seats for an eight to fourteen hour trip hoping for a nap, some reading, catching up on email, a decent meal (in business class at least) and, hopefully, even a decent glass of wine.

Instead, in adjacent row or nearby is a family with one or more small children. Often they start crying when the plane takes off. On some flights (a particularly horrific flight from Delhi to London – and not business class either – was one) several cried throughout. This can be frustrating of course, but one has to sympathize with the mothers who have been willing to endure the rigors of lengthy international travel with small children. Airports are almost as unforgiving ans air planes. It is almost always the mothers, of course, who are front and center in the child care role.

Whether or not the children are sqalling, the mothers deserve at least a medal if not a sainthood nomination.


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