Traveling half way across the world with the three muppets this summer was full of ups and downs, laughter and tears, lots of adventures and wonderful people.
We arrived at the Calgary Airport with more luggage weight then what was allowed excited and anxious to begin our journey back to our home. The three muppets always attract attention at the airport since I dress them in the same outfits, they all pull their own carry on suitcases and they are constantly racing through the airport. Today was no exception, thankfully people find it endearing that my three boys are fighting about who gets to put their teddy first in to the security scanner and how the airport security guard has to tell them multiple times that they have to walk one at a time through the metal detector.
We board our first plane and assembled our selves in to our seats… again the boys jostle for position of seating. I have learned that when traveling on a 9 hour flight the best people to have seated around you are other parents with small children and grandparents. Other parents traveling with small children have sympathy for one another and all wish that the airline offered a separate section just for children where they could all be contained in a noise proof bubble. We all dream of a flight where everyone sleeps and you leave the flight feeling refreshed and happy. The likelihood of any of these dreams coming true is nil so we all put up with the screams of other children in hopes that it will not be ours next.
Grandparents are even better because they find your children lovely even if they are kicking their seats every five minutes, and look at your screaming child with fondness and a glimmer of remembering what it was like to deal with tired, hungry and bored kids. Even when I felt like a frazzled mess at the end of a long flight there has always been a loving grandmother or grandfather to comment on how well behaved my children were (even if I was tearing them off the ceiling of the plane for most of the flight) It makes you feel like you have done a good job as a mother even if the thought of running away and catching the next flight to the Caribbean is at the back of your mind!
After a quick layover in Amsterdam which included a mad rush to the McDonalds we found ourselves in another long line waiting to get through security. The muppets entertained the waiting travellers by arguing about who is first, second, third, who is in the front, middle and back. It starts off as friendly bantering and I figure that the more silliness they get out at the airport means less craziness on the plane so I let them continue their game. The oldest muppet soon grows tired of this and starts to ignore the other two.
However the youngest muppet is just warming up and knows how to get under the middle guys skin. Soon the middle muppet is in tears because the youngest keeps telling him that he is not the middle child. I tell him to ignore his brothers jests but he has been pushed over the edge, refuses to stand anywhere near either brother and starts having a bit of melt down. We are getting close to the front of the line and I really need my children to focus so that we can get through security with out creating too much of a scene. I gain the attention of the three muppets and probably everyone else in the line up and tell the three of them that they are brothers and that they are going to be in front, behind and beside each other for the rest of their lives so get used to it. This quickly brings them back in to line and for the rest of the trip they are loving, helpful and watch out for each other.
We are the last people to exit the plane in Qatar the three muppets are excited to board the bus that will take us to the arrivals terminal. All three sit at the back of the bus pointing out the planes from different countries. They all remark on how good it is to be home but how much they will miss Canada and all of our family and friends. An older gentleman walks over to me and remarks on how well behaved my children are, he tells me that there were quite a few people that enjoyed my remark in the security line. He continues to tell me has three grown boys and that they have travelled with them all over the world since they were small. He says the words that I have heard so many times before “It gets easier, it is amazing how fast they grow up.”
It has gotten easier and every day they present me with new challenges and the challenges I thought were never going to go away have all but disappeared. The muppets have done more then just traveled across the world this summer, they have grown up a little bit more.
I will continue to remind them that they are brothers and that they are going to be in front, behind and beside each other for the rest of their lives so that they grow together.