Travelling isn't so easy anymore.

Early tomorrow morning, I am going to fly to Chicago. My aunt is getting married. A couple of years ago, I would have been thrilled at this opportunity. Normally I love the excitement of watching weird people in the airport, the peace of mind that I don't need to drive or be the back seat driver, and the solitude to sit and read a book without five million other items on my 'to do' list to keep me from getting there.
Now, I am a mother; and now, travelling is a totally different experience. Now, I take the largest stroller possible to the airport, so I can have a cart to hold all my junk while I carry Olivia in my other arm. Now, I get preferential seating...which I have actually found is NOT such a great advantage, sing small people generally do not like to sit still in enclosed spaces. Now, I get to skip through the security checkpoint line...unless I'm flying out of Newark. Now, I get to carry two carry-ons full of baby gear: snacks, sippy cups, bibs, bottles, diapers, diaper wipes, kleenex, books, toys...only to realize that what Olivia would prefer to do is page through Continental magazine and crinkle the barf bag. Now, I get to pray every time I get onto the plane that Olivia will NOT be that screaming baby that everyone hates by the end of the ride. And the good news is, Olivia has not been that baby even once, and she has flied at least five times in her short life.
But now, she's cutting her molars. Please pray with me.
I stand amazed at those power mothers who are able to keep three kids occupied without the father figure along on the trip. I have always had either my husband or my sister travel with me, and I have just one little one who, until the last time we traveled, was constantly nursing during the x-hour plane ride. But these mothers have a scary, unnatural energy. They frighten me. I wonder how many cups of coffee keep them going as they make sure that each one of their kids is constantly occupied by something other than kicking the seat in front of them. The nervous energy is enough to fuel a small jetplane.
There was another mother I remember from one of the first times I traveled with Olivia. Her baby was probably six months old, and it WAS the baby that everyone hated by the end of the plane ride. As soon as the flight attendants were allowed to move about the cabin, she flagged one down and immediately ordered two mini bottles of wine. If I wasn't so cheap I would probably do the same thing.
So, happy trails to me. Hopefully we'll keep our good track record.


The last week of school

I am not sure which group instigates the gloomy attitude surrounding the end of the year. Is it the students, or is it the teachers? All I know is that right now, I would do anything to be done with grading, done with lesson planning, done with phonecalls, organization...done. I'm not sure if I caught this attitude from a colleague or a kid, but I am feeling it. I start each day with a prep block, and I used to use this time wisely (at least this semester), but now I do anything but useful things during this time: check for flights to California, look at pictures of my daughter, write a new post for my blog. It seems that what I am preparing for is not school, but summer.
I find a similar attitude in my students. I present the day's duties, and they have suggestions like, "Could we do that outside?" or "How about this?". In addition, I have received increasingly creative excuses for missing homework. A student told me that some weird computer glitch let her see everything but my posted assignment until 10:15, at which time she needed to go to bed. Unfortunately, my attitude right now does not breed grace, but justice, brash justice. One student, with not so much creativity, actually told me that his dog ate his exam description.
So please, pray with me that this next week goes by quickly and quietly. Because it's time to summerize!!!!