Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Next Generation of Holiday Travel

I know what you are thinking as my kids run around your legs for the thirtieth time during the two hours delayed flight we are trying to catch to get to their grandparents.

You hate everything about this.

You're probably saying that because of this experience that you are "never having kids" so you've put on your giant wireless headphones and are attempting to drown out the yelling because one kid has one more fry in their Value Meal than the other. Don't underestimate the power of the fries.

I actually know you are looking at me underneath that trendy hemp-made slouch hat you bought at the outdoor market last Fall while trying to find gluten-free everything for a weekend seeing bands I've never heard of nor will I ever understand.

The thing is, I just don't care and here is why; someday, someone will come along who knows more obscure bands that you do, will make you laugh at jokes the masses will never understand, and make you question selling all your vinyl for that other round thing you suddenly realize isn't cliche.

This person will turn your world upside down and make you question all the days you spent lounging on the couch thinking that it couldn't be any better than this.

That person will have you making your bed, working for the man, and turning paychecks (no matter how lame that seems) into spending money to take the said person out.

And maybe, if you are lucky, you'll get to marry that person and have children with them.

Or realize that adopting a child is a thing your heart wants the most.

However you reach that conclusion, I wish that for you.

The moment that child calls you dad or gives you a smile because he recognizes your face, I hope you'll remember me.

I hope you'll think of that time you deeply sighed when I corralled the kids, handed them the headphones connected with an audio splitter, and let them watch Netflix while they waited for a plane that would push their bedtime limits beyond acceptable levels.

I wish that for you despite your scornful look or the way you nudged your bro and nodded in my direction.

There is always a plan but when traveling with kids, it hardly ever goes according to it.

I hope you also remember that your generation is lucky. You live in a time where shows can be downloaded right to your device so that kids these days can take their favorite shows to Grandpa's house who may or may not still have rabbit ears and can barely operate his cable remote.

There's a reason Grandpa leaves it on his favorite channel, it's because oftentimes he can't get back there so easily.

I hope you take advantage when your kids are my kids' age and save all their favorite shows to their devices. By then, they may be wearing them on their wrists and you'll explain to them how when you were a kid, screen time was limited by parental controls.

That's why I am smiling right now because I know what you are thinking. I used to be sitting right where you are today.

I thank the people at Netflix every time I pass through a security gate or deal with an extra long flight. When Netflix at home isn't an option while traveling, it's nice to know it is still there offline when we need it too.

Do you have a travel hack when it comes to parenting? Share your comment below and you could be featured on the Netflix Family page!