george_hancockstefanIt was late afternoon in the Orlando airport. When the airline steward invited families with young children to come forward, between 40 and 50 kids with Mickey Mouse hats, pirate eye patches, and Beauty and the Beast regalia came forward. I could not believe my eyes. I knew that I would be seated in the midst of this expanded kindergarten class.

Behind me on the plane, I had a talkative little astronaut. He wanted to know everything about the airplane – the engine, the wings, and the fuel. I think his father ran out of answers and patience. To my right, there was a little one whose mother was trying to wean him from breastfeeding. He wanted to nurse and she thought that this was an opportunity for a teaching moment. The result was a crying baby until he finally fell asleep. In front of me was a precocious little girl who wanted her mother to read to her non-stop.

God knows that I love children and for that reason, I inevitably end up being seated with them. I know how the parents feel because I traveled with four kids from the East Coast to the West Coast. There were times when I enjoyed hearing my kids talk, but I was not as sure that my fellow passengers were willing to be as involved in their explanations. There were times when I wished that the flight will go faster because at least one of my kids was not feeling well and there was nothing we could do.

Every flight with children is a long flight. Every flight with children is an unpredictable flight. Every flight is a flight in which there is not too much one can do, except be helpful, pray often and smile as much as you can. For all of their children will grow up, most of them will have children of their own, and the cycle will start again.