We recently wrapped up the Winter ’08 East Coast tour. From the minute I booked our trip (3 flights in 6 days. ACK!) I was filled with dread. Every time Addie would have a meltdown I pictured us on an airplane with dozens of people shushing us while giving me dirty looks and grumbling about what a bad mother I am. Ridiculous, I know, but this is how I felt. For some reason, I couldn’t picture us in an airplane scenario that avoided a screaming crying mess. Her screaming, me crying. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I’ll be the first to admit that traveling with an infant kind of sucks. Not because of a crying fit, but because there’s just so much damn equipment. Gone are the days of a carry-on bag with a magazine, gum and some pretzels. Now it’s a diaper bag, a cooler for bottles, a nursing pillow, a stroller, car seat and car seat base. It all has to be broken down, separated and turned inside out to get through security and then put back together again on the other side. All while holding a baby in your arms! The guy behind you just wants to put his loafers back on and grab his briefcase but it’s on the conveyor belt wedged under your carseat. Luckily, that businessman is also a parent and waved off my apologies; he’s been in my shoes.

By the time we actually got settled into our seats on the airplane the stressful part was over. A combination of the white noise of the engine and the gentle rocking motion of the airplane put Addison right to sleep. In fact, she slept through all three of our flights that week. Because of where we live, traveling is just a part of our lives. And if we didn’t travel then she would never have a lot of great experiences, and that’s just not okay with me. She loves her cousins and I love the extra help. Plus, there’s something to be said for being surrounded by people who love your kid almost as much as you do.