Our flights back East and then back home were the easiest I’ve had since I became a mom. My kids are ages nine and five, and they occupied themselves for both flight, so much that I was able to watch a movie and several TV shows without interruption. It’s so great that they’ve reached the ages of being easy travelers, I thought to myself while I looked at them during the flight. I bet the people in front of us don’t even know I have children with me because they are being that quiet. It was beautiful, that is until the turn off electronic devices light flicked on. Suddenly, all of that built up energy came bursting out of them. The people in front of us surely knew I had kids with me, during the last 20 minutes of the flight.
While the last 20 minutes was hard, as my kids attempted to wrestle in tight airplane seats with their seat belts on, but it didn’t totally take away the fact that they’d been silent angels for over six hours. The reason they’d been quiet is because they had an endless supply of electronics to keep them occupied. It used to be they’d play with their Nintendo DSis for most of the journey, and we’d inevitably lose a game along the way, but this time, they had their DSis, but it was the iPad and iPods that saved the trip. They weren’t the only ones attached to Apple devices, I was just as guilty, depending upon my iPad to get me through the flight, which made me wonder how we would have gotten by without them.
Probably – like when the kids were little – I would have packed an entire carry on of small toys, Crayons, and paper to help entertain the kids during the long flight. They would have had books too, but six hours straight of reading is a lot to ask the most fervent child reader. Our dependence on electronics adds some stress, mostly trying to make sure that everything is fully charged before take off, and before that, making sure everything has been synced with the latest games, apps, and shows. We made a mistake of deciding at the last minute to sync up an old iPhone for my son to use a an iPod on the trip. That sync was the longest, and most stressful of any I’ve had. The little bar marking progress moved painfully slow, while the family stood waiting at the front door, ready to leave for the airport. The syncing and charging stress is worth the travel quiet.
One the plane, my daughter pointed out that we had two iPhones, three iPads, two iPods (one formerly used as an iPhone), and one MacBook Pro. We had too few chargers with us, but she didn’t make note of that. While we looked like we’d looted an Apple Store, a relic from the past sat next to my husband. As the plane took off, the woman pulled out something I hadn’t seen in over a decade: a Sony Discman. After the discman came out, she opened a portfolio of CDs, which came out any time she wanted to change music. A dinosaur was on our plane. I was doubly thankful for all of our i-devices, as I imagined all of the discs I’d have to lug around for my kids, and especially as I remembered the dreaded disc skipping that came with a portable CD player. Not only would I have to carry the discs, but I’d have to blow on them with a loud huff and then shine them up with my shirt or my knee to help avoid the skipping. I would gladly pay to avoid that, and as Apple knows, I already have.