It would be a fabulous little summer trip. Of that I was sure.
It was fantastic to see Dawn. It always is. Those expectations were met.
However, Georgia................she was really hard.
And at the risk of sounding like the proverbial mom who says, "I can't believe she's behaving like this--she's always so good," Georgia was not her usual happy, flexible, easy-going self. She was overly silly (read wild), a bit cantankerous.......and the one that's hard for me to type.......kind of mean.
It was upsetting for me.
I thought about sharing this, not sharing this, or glossing over it, but it wouldn't really be an honest reflection of our trip. And one thing I believe about putting my life out there for others to read is that I think it should be truthful; something that others can relate to (I hope), learn from, and commiserate with.
Georgia's first airplane ride?
Went off without a hitch. She was great--the kid I'm used to. She did everything she was supposed to do and besides telling her that she couldn't put her feet on the seat in front of her a few times and that she couldn't have a bag of peanuts, pretzels, and the cookies there were no issues.
I had this thing in the bag.
And I'd like to say that Florida cast this voodoo magic over my daughter turning her into Dennis the Menace so it's not anyone's fault, but I can't.
I can say however, that I experienced my first parenting moment where I absolutely did not know what was going on, how to really handle it, couldn't figure out why and how this started, and what I needed to do differently to change course.
Anxiety about how I was shaping this person set in. Where had I gone wrong? What was I not doing enough of? Doing too much of?
I want my daughter to be a conscientious, kind, and empathetic individual....the opposite of what I observed while on our trip. And I know it's easy to pass it off as normal preschool behavior, normal only-child behavior, normal spirited child behavior, and the excuses go on.....but bottom line.......it made me sad.
And nothing about watching my child grow up to date has made me sad.
There was just this feeling in my gut that this behavior I was seeing her exhibit towards other kids and expectations wasn't good. This wasn't what I wanted her to be. It's made me stop and think. I believe it's important to listen to our mom voice when it yells at you this loud. When it's hitting you over the head saying, "Re-evaluate what you're doing so you can stop this," it'd be irresponsible not to listen and futile to try and deny what you're seeing.
And while I know that there will be many moments like this as Georgia continues to grow up and there will be many avenues I could take to make myself feel better about something that is uncomfortable--that's not good parenting. Good parenting is facing a situation head-on, reshuffling the cards, getting out a new owners manual, or deconstructing some of your methods and molding them into new ones.
Were there good moments with Georgia on this trip? Absolutely. Without a doubt. But it was a bit of a wake-up call for me. One of many that I know I'll have as this girls mama. And it's always our choice as parents to pay attention to those wake up calls or ignore them and hope "this phase passes."
I refuse to ignore. I refuse to pass the buck. I refuse to think I could have done more after it's too late. And I refuse not to do the best I can by this incredible little person that I have been given the privilege and tremendous responsibility of raising.
And sometimes, a lot of times, I'm learning......it's really hard, sobering, humbling, and sad. Thankfully, in between those moments are many, many refreshing, gratifying, soul filling, laugh till it hurts moments.
I love this little girl. I love her so much.
On a lighter note........
Ten Random Observations From a Mom With a Stroller in an Airport:
1. I have a stroller. You really just need to move out of my way......not the other way around.
2. It's AuBonPain in the Delta terminal of the Atlanta airport, not a French bistro people.....just order something off the menu. You can customize it all you want and change your mind over and over.....it's still just going to be AuBonPain in the Delta terminal of the Atlanta airport.
3. If you ever needed more reason to think sagging pants were asinine.....observe a man try and push a stroller with one hand, carry a car seat, and walk with his legs spread far apart enough to hold up his sagging pants.
4. If you're walking through the terminal on your cell phone--that's cool. Just try and stay in a straight line instead of weaving back and forth in front of those of us with strollers.
5. The smoking room? That's just so sad people. Give it up already.
6. Why are there no moving sidewalks in the Delta terminal of the Atlanta airport? Really? Why?
7. Groups of soldiers walking through airports instantly make me teary. I want to stop and hug them and yell for everyone to clap for them. I truly love it.
8. The luggage that people are trying to pass as carry-on these days is an abomination and a lie. I fully support airlines tightening the belt on that ridiculousness. If it can hold enough clothes for a two week stay in Europe and almost decapitate people as you catapult it out of the overhead bins......it's too big.
9. McDonald's just needs to be in every terminal. It does. It's easy, I know exactly what to get my kid, and it's very, very fast. Can we stop being health conscious within the confines of an airport? It'd be so much easier for us moms.
10. I think Gymboree could have a booming business in airports. Fifteen minute mini-play classes? I'm sure it'd be a hit.