As I sit in the plane on my way to Lebanon for a family visit, I struggle to find joy and peace being with my three children.
There. Sacrilege, I’ve said it.
I must be at the 100th “mommy” at this point, being an hour away from Beirut. Meaning NYC- Paris, lay-over, and now Paris-Beirut, 16 hours in, the kids are ready to climb up the curtains if there were any on this plane. You see, direct flights between the US and Lebanon don’t exist. You can fly direct to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem which are less than 100 miles south of there but flying to Lebanon which shares a border with Israel is non grata.
Lebanon is black listed apparently because Hezbollah, which is a political party there and a sworn enemy to Israel, is considered a terrorist organization. Technically, and read the anecdote at the end of this article for a laugh, Lebanon is still at war with Israel which is America’s best buddy. Therefore, no direct flights. Seriously? What does it all have to do with commercial flights? A terrorist wanting to board a US bound plane can do it from anywhere in the world.
Oh well, no one wants to get into geo-politics or aviation politics here. It just sucks, is all.
Traveling with your little treasures can be a bitch and you must find or try everything and anything to come out alive on the other side. The frail equilibrium you find during the last trip doesn’t necessarily work for the current trip you’re in. The Ipad vs. Book vs. drawing vs. in-flight entertainment ratio works just fine one trip and goes out the window the next. My kids, for example, don’t do well with the Ipad, in general but most importantly on a plane. Being three kids of the same age (my twins are 15 months younger than their sister), they want exactly the same thing, times three. Not only do they get over excited by the damn thing, they also get cranky when it stops to either eat or fall asleep. Traveling with no ipad has revealed itself to be salutary but, and there’s a but, the electronic babysitter is useful if the car ride to the airport is longer than an hour, which this time around was the case.
I don’t know about yours, but my kids become little monsters when they know there’s an Ipad not far away. They become like that creature in Lord of the rings uttering ”It’s Mine” or “My Precious” with folly in their eyes, ready to kill their sibling for the chance to hold the ring in their hand.
I will have to become the Momma Dragon once we get to Beirut and lock away the damn things once and for all so as not to have the temptation of the devil roaming around, needing to exorcise each kid one by one to do any basic task such as brushing their teeth or getting dressed or coming down for dinner.
Spending the holidays with family is also a treasured time. All the cousins, the food, the stories, the memories we create are treasures to be kept in our brain and in our ass for a long, long time. Well, hopefully the ass for a shorter amount of time☺
But what’s truly a beauty is when the family, and I mean both my family and my in-laws do it, so I mean the family in general, encourage you to leave the kids, they’ll take care of them so we the parents can finally go out and chill and enjoy, they’ll babysit. The intention is oh so sweet, until you get back home from the said outing to find your children wide eyed, grey eyed from screen time crack and high on sugar, sometimes without their teeth brushed and certainly not their hair combed. These moments are pure gems.
There is a thing I just discovered and I’m perhaps slow getting on the pot train, and that’s CBD oil. I took my first dose before taking off in NYC knowing full well I’ll be taking on the load of three children for a long trip, so wanted to put all the chances on my side for a smooth ride. Not sure it did anything but let’s just say it did. I tried the Natures Plus HempCeutix 250. It tastes like Olive Oil and I’ll definitely do it again.
I secretly gave some to my son who was sitting next to me. Yes, think what you want, I’m a bad mom. Just wanted to see what it’d do. And you know what, I regret not giving it to the other two kiddos. I’ll make sure to give them a half dose before our return to the US next week. I’m going to try other brands and will document it I’m sure.
I’m always one to find the best in every situation, often to my detriment, to the point of being over excited for everything or wanting to over achieve and in the end not appreciate the moment enough. This time around I make it a point to take my time to recenter myself with alone time – yes, kids are older, these moments are now actually possible – yoga time and other indulgence. Me time have become treasures that benefit everyone and I can’t stress that enough.
And to add oil on the fire of trying to go with the flow, here’s what happens when I try to upload this current post now that I've landed in Beirut ☺
As I’m about to upload it on my website which is hosted by Wix, this is the message I come across:
"This site was blocked on the basis of the decision of the relevant administrative authorities based on the provisions of the law of boycotting Israel"
Further Google research explains that Wix is an Israeli company (who knew?) and since the beginning of this year, anyone hosting their website on Wix are basically f**’d in Lebanon. Which means me.
So there I am lying on my bed laughing inside.
I’m now taking a deep breath in, exhaling 4 counts out and I know everything will be alright and I’ll find a solution.
After all, you can find your little treasured moments in any situation. Keeping your mind and your heart open will make every little set back bearable.
Until next time,