After nearly 5 and half years my family flew on an airplane. We returned back today after a 5 day trip to Florida.
Two months back I was talking to my friend and said I may never travel again since I am scared to travel with my boy on an airplane. We had booked India tickets in May of 2020 and we had to cancel because of Covid-19 pandemic and never tried again. The news channels always had headline news about the bad stuff happening on airplanes. We then both discussed various vacation spots that can be traveled from my city. I didn’t want to go to Disney World since we wanted to relax once we landed there. She suggested Mexico and we saw various cities and islands as we chatted. She then mentioned Miami and that is when it stuck , yes Florida Everglades and the next day my husband booked the tickets.
I called my friend the next day and told her the happy news and that is when she told me her teenage daughter had mentioned to her why I need to worry about traveling. Other passengers need to adjust to my son. Wow, Kudos Girl! We need more people like her. The same sentiment was expressed by my son’s aide who has taken him on multiple community outings. So when two youngsters gave me the motivation I was all set to go.
We then had a major repair and remodeling and our contractor worked a way that a major portion of the work can happen when we were out of town and that it would not disturb my son’s routine. Yes, people motivated and supported me as the day got closer.
On the day of the trip I saw my son dressed up in his best shirt and my husband mentioned that he did the choice on his own and was ready to fly. As we parked the car, his memories of the airport came back and he was super hyper and happy (which is our main concern, since it can lead to elopement). But he was more controlled. TSA at the airport allowed us to pass through the special needs lane and me and my son were treated with great respect in spite of the rush. It was a breeze. The plane was full of kids and my son’s vocal stims did not matter to anyone and we made a smooth landing.
Fort Lauderdale, TSA people were even better on our return trip. We were fine to go in the general lane. But they said we can pass through the special needs lane and had the same cordial treatment for me and my boy. We then had an issue with flight. It was delayed and that is when we started having some meltdowns with all the noise and the crowd. It was almost 10 pm when we were told as we boarded up the plane that my boy cannot sit near the emergency exit . We had paid extra for those seats to get more leg room. They asked us to wait and my husband was getting upset that he maybe pushed back. But the flight was empty and the airline representative said me and my son can have the big front row seats. Oh boy, this did make my younger one a bit jealous but Dad and brother were happy to see us settled down comfortably in big business class seats. My special one slept through the flight and we landed back home around 1.30 am fresh. There were changes in our household because of the remodel work but he could accept the change.
So to answer the prompt, no I do not want to adapt to any changes caused by the pandemic. It caused one too many disruptions. I am really done doing things virtually. I want to see and hear things and participate in person. Yes, it may work out fine for some special classes or in case of emergency. But life has to move back to where it was.
The trip has given us confidence to travel to India. But this needs more planning and we may do it sometime since there are other factors involved too.
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