My wife and I took our eight-month-old son on a trip to Virginia last week so he could officially meet the rest of the family.  (Facebook pictures don’t count.)  The easiest (relatively speaking) way to get there is by flying out of and into two different, small, regional airports given where we live, and where my folks live.

So, six different flights.  Needless to say, I was a bit stressed and worried about taking a baby on a plane because I’ve seen how rough of a time other parents have had.  While he did well, mostly, there were a few minor meltdowns that we managed to contain.

The funny thing is, when you’re walking down the aisle of an airplane, carrying a baby, you can feel all the eyes on you, silently pleading, “Please don’t sit next to me, please don’t sit next to me.”  It’s almost like, “Who’s going to win the baby lottery?”

At least that’s the way it felt to me, and I was likely blowing it out of proportion, because we had a fantastically tolerant group of people sitting around us on every single flight.  I have to give a huge thanks to the flight attendants of Delta that wanted to hold him, the older gentleman in the seat across from me that wanted to hold him and make funny faces, and to the gaggle of Air Force ROTC guys sitting next to us that joked around and tolerated the screaming when he refused to nap, even though they were so exhausted they could barely hold their eyes open.

Honestly, the worst challenge was getting through the Atlanta airport with incredibly short layovers.  Roughly 30 minutes for one, and 40 for another.  Pure insanity, especially when your next flight is on the other side of the airport and started boarding before you got off the first plane.  Both times, my wife had to run ahead to let the gate know we were there, while I carried a messenger bag, a diaper bag, pulled a carry-on suitcase, and pushed a stroller carrying a car seat, all while navigating the massive crowds of people.

But, getting to see my parents enjoy the time with their first grandchild made it all worthwhile, and a good time was had by all.