This is what we wanted for them. For them to see the world. We just didn't realize we'd created little monsters. Little travel snobby monsters who'd constantly insist "we never do anything" or "go anywhere" and that we're "so boring". And why, why haven't we gone to New Guinea yet? Yes, this is a real live "complaint" of my kids. Because they are consumed with first world white people problems. If only they ranked lower on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, they would be happier. If they had to scrounge for grubs to eat for dinner, they'd be fulfilled even. I'm sure of it.
The announcement that we were going to Florida for spring break came on the heels of Ember's grievance that we hadn't gone anywhere in a while. So for 5 entire seconds after receiving the news she was ecstatic to see grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins, including a brand new nephew. Then she claimed her luggage. The rolly bag with the good wheels for easy gliding through the airport. When we delivered the bad news. Bags needed to be shared, condensed to be economical. Unless they wanted to shell out the $50 bag fee. "WHAT? We never had to do that in Morocco, Paris, London, Portugal, Turkey, South Africa….(the list went on and on)" "We're in America now and the rules are different. And stupid", I replied.
When we finally get on the plane, the mocking begins. They know immediately if the plane is new or old based on the safety demonstration. Does the flight attendant need to stand in the aisle and demonstrate how to use a seat belt? Or is the ridiculous seat belt demo on a screen above their heads? Then, why don't they serve food on domestic flights? And when they come around for beverage service will they give them a cup full of ice with a splash of a soft drink? Or are they the generous type that will give them the entire can? If they don't pop the top open, even better. Then they can secretly stash the can away in their carry on and resurrect it on some completely inappropriate occasion when no other sibling has a soda. Which is clearly what winning at sibling rivalry. Probably childhood entirely.
When we've arrived at our connection they pick up on subtle nuances immediately. They people watch with intensity bordering on impropriety. Women in Dallas have big hair and spackle on make-up. And in fact everything IS bigger in Texas. Sky is convinced the airport security guard could not chase down a terrorist if the need arose. And when we arrive at our destination there are even more observations. River loves the smell of the humid air. Everyone else wonders if Spanish is the official language of Florida.
It doesn't end there. They have lots more commentary the entire trip. Why are the lines at theme parks so long? That's the common theme isn't it? Yes, yes it is. And as great as all these annotations on modern American culture are, they are draining. Or maybe that was waiting in line at the theme park drenched from that river rafting ride in the cold stinking sulfur water sprinkled air slowly getting trench foot. Whatever.
That was until the plane ride back home. When one of the kids, my kids, had the most unusually spun remark of the entire trip.
"I love airplane lavatories. It's like your own personal surprise party. When you go in, the light goes on." ~Sky, 15 years old.
A reminder, it's not the destination, it's the journey. And that my kids are twisted.