Thursday, July 24, 2008

Airplane in Review

R is ecstatically running laps with a bottle hanging out of his mouth. The baby is standing on her grandmother shouting and pulling her hair. Outside the wind is whipping up, a little, and the rain is gently falling. We are trying to decide whether to drive to Corpus today, based on the heaviness of the rain.

Yesterday I wandered around in a stupor, vaguely looking over my history time line cards and trying to think of hand motions for them. Oh, and we went to a very fine pool-vast shallow end, small slide for small children, waterfall in the middle of it all, AND life vests for all my small children. We're in the process of learning to swim, but not all of us have gotten there yet. R went down the slide 100 times, at least, but had to be pushed each time, as he would never let go. And A, who has always been suspicious of any swimming activity, completely let himself go and ran and splashed, and 'swam' and put his head under and shouted. I was forced to sit in the pool, holding babies, catching R, swimming with my children. I kept getting frustrated and thinking, 'I should be doing work'. Finally, about 2 o'clock, it occurred to me that if God wanted me to work, he would have made it rain all day, not provided beautiful weather and a beautiful pool and that I had jolly well better relax for risk of disobeying my maker.

I don't want to relive our whole airplane ride, but there were a couple of fine moments that I don't want to loose. I generally go through life, well, my particular life, thinking everyone must completely disapprove. I mean, I've chosen such a Rebellious and Counter Cultural way of life (having lots of children, being a full time Christian, now homeschooling), and there are people who disapprove, but probably not as Many people as I assume. Not, for example, the whole airport. In fact, in this difficult age of terrorism and air travel, I think most people were amazed, impressed, and encouraged by us braving all the chaos to travel. And, let's face it, my children are a pleasure to look at, especially when they're clean, dressed nicely, and not shouting at each other.

We processed our way through the Security line, E and A standing up straight and holding hands, R and G in the stroller, smiling graciously at the crowds. E then impressed us all by carrying the baby through the booth (what is it called?) while I carried R. So helpful! So Well Behaved! Wow, she can carry the baby! It was like that all day.

But the crowning moment, for me, was sitting on the plane, behind my two oldest, listening to them talk to each other, to the very nice people who sat next to them, and to the flight attendants.
Nice Man (NM): And what is your name?
E: My name is E, and his name is A, and my littlest brother is named R, and my baby sister is G.
NM (visibly shaken and looking back to see the rest of us): Oh, wow.
E: And what is your name?
NM gave his name but I didn't hear it: And how old are you? Are you in kindergarten?
E: No, I am in first grade and I am going to learn at home.
NM (visibly shaken): Wow.

Later, on the second flight,
E: My name is E, what is your name?
NL (Nice Lady) gave her name and began to get out her computer.
E: We go to Church of the Good Shepherd. Where do you go to church?
NL: I go to St. Vincent's.
A: Where is that church? Is it near here?
NL: Well, its not near here, but it isn't too far from the airport.
E: We live very near our church, do you live near yours?
NL: Well, yes I do, I don't live too far at all.

In other words, I was deeply impressed that somewhere along the way they learned that it is polite to ask other people questions (I don't know about those particular questions but oh well), and answer themselves, and order juice and water politely, and sit and color without kicking the people in front of them. The babies were another story. They were very good but were in constant motion for 7 hours without a break. Mercifully, they didn't cry. Actually, R, sitting with his chubby legs stretched forth in front of him, drinking juice and eating one tiny peanut at a time, for a minute could have been mistaken for the perfect child Jesus, but then he got tired and started wiggling and the image was gone.

As soon as the flooding stops in Corpus and all the toilets are in working order, we'll get in the car and be on our way.


Jeff H said...


Jill C. said...

Wait a minute . . peanuts on the plane? You brought them yourself, right? (Nowadays we're lucky to get pretzels, let alone peanuts!)

Your account reminds me of mine when they were young -- but I just had two to keep occupied. And now yesterday my 2 1/2 yr. old grandson politely said, "Excuse me" to a lady who was kind of in his way in the children's section at our local Barnes & Noble. I was so proud! :)

Have a good holiday here in Texas!

Jane R said...

Surely Jesus, being fully human as well as fully divine, did some wiggling in his day.

Glad you had such a great trip.

Lauren said...

Yes, there's something about having beautiful children behaving beautifully that makes you swell with pride and love. It's wonderful when that happens in public and everyone can assume it's like that ALL the time!

(At other times, you're just praying for love and restraint.)

It's nice to see that you're homeschooling too -- if you come across any excellent curriculum, I'm really interested!