And then, you walked up to us. As our tired but currently well-behaved children noticed your approach, you said, "I feel sorry for you."
I smirked and let out a half-assed chuckle. Because - at least I hope - your rude comment on our choice to have three beautiful children and take them traveling with us was your off-color way of showing empathy for the possible difficulty we may face on the flight with three little ones.
So, maybe I should start off by saying, "Thank you?" Thank you for trying to show empathy...I guess.
But, truly, you pissed me the fuck off. I wanted to snap and ask you, "Why the hell would you would ever feel sorry for me?!" I wanted to yell at you that three beautiful children are never a reason to pity somebody. EVER.
Maybe you were sorry that we "had" to travel with three little kids. What a fucking burden, right? No. It's a choice. And, it's our choice. My husband and I love traveling and have wanderlust hearts. We want our children to grow up seeing the world, discovering amazing places, and learning about different cultures. We want them to have strong relationships with family and friends who live in other states. So they will travel. They will always travel as long as we can help it.
This is not a reason to pity someone. This is a privilege, a gift. It is not a right or a burden. I'm so grateful that we have the financial ability and opportunity to lug these three poopers and too many bags around creating beautiful lasting memories.
On the first leg of our trip, I was by myself with the three. Shortly, after we got to our seats, the boys were screaming for their bottles. Then about 10 minutes into our two-hour and 40-minute flight, the Tank projectile vomited over himself, me, and Little Hawk. I had to put my sleeping baby on the seat, which caused him to wake and scream, while I cleaned us, the seat, and the floor with baby wipes. We smelled like vomit the rest of the flight. But, I sat there after all was settled again, and I thanked g-d for them. I thanked g-d that I had all three with me, because the thought of having just two or one or none at all would be easier, sure, but absolutely devastating. I would rather smell like puke and be a stressed-out mess than not have my kids with me at all. It's that simple.
So, I beg you, don't you do dare feel sorry for us. Save your pity for those souls who really need it, those who need your good thoughts, prayers, and empathy.
If you want to show support for parents who have their "hand's full," learn from the incredibly kind people who are all around you.
Lastly, I implore you to never tell a parent in front of her child who is capable of understanding the language you are speaking that you are sorry for her for said child. That is just so cruel. How do you think that could possibly make a child feel? It breaks my heart. And, even though my three-year-old is more than capable of understanding what you said, I hope she didn't make the connection, let alone take it to heart. She is too young to have to deal with that type of guilt.