I was fumbling to buckle my 7-month-old back into his car seat with one hand while trying to grab my shoes off the conveyor belt with the other. I could see my 3-year-old out of the corner of my eye as he wandered a little too close to the escalator. I could feel the line of people piling up behind me.
"It gets easier."
In my frantic attempt to get myself and my two children and all of our belongings through the metal detectors, off the conveyor belt, and out of the airport security line, I wasn't immediately sure the words were directed at me.
I turned around to see a woman and her two sons. They had no luggage, no stroller or front carrier. No bag of snacks, stash of emergency diapers, or hand sanitizer. They definitely didn't have the slight sheen of sweat building on their forehead or an elevated heart rate like I did.
It looked easier, without a doubt.
I asked how old her boys were and, having two of my own, also took the opportunity to confirm that they are best friends, as I often imagine, or hope, that mine will be. 10 and 8. And yes, best buds.
We exchanged a few more "oh, I can't wait for that" and "oh, I remember that age" comments before parting ways to catch our respective flights. I was still snapping my sandals as they quickly moved past us towards the departure gates.
My mind wandered to that place, years ahead. To the more adventurous vacations we'd be able to take, to the mornings I could stay in bed while the kids got their own breakfasts, to the errands I could run without so much buckling and unbuckling.
Sure, it looked easier.
But easier can come later. Because right now, while my hands may be full and my mind may be scattered, I've got chubby baby rolls to squeeze, wobbly first steps to anticipate, messy finger paintings to hang, and sweet bedtime stories to read. And I'm trying to soak it all in before it gets easier.