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It’s funny what becomes a big deal when you become a mom. Poop has never had so much significance (How much is there? What color is it? How often is it showing up? Is it too dry? Too wet? Too smooth? Too lumpy?). Weight is a matter of national importance (You should hear the calls we get from all over the country when we’re due for a pediatrician’s visit.) And then there’s leaving the house.

When Katie Pearl was about three weeks old, I’d had enough of my living room. I set my mind on going to Target. It took three days for me to work up the courage, in addition to phone calls to my husband and friends to hear them say I could do it. It was late in the day before I got it together enough to go, but I did it. The car didn’t blow up. No tuberculosis patients tried to cough on her. The diaper held everything in. We left the house, did our shopping, and returned home with absolutely no drama. I felt like a superhero.

So you can imagine how I feel about our impending first flight together. “Anxious” is a strong word, but I sure am thinking about it a lot. I’ve packed our bags five times in my head, which is only half the number of times I’ve worked out our schedule for the day. I’m sure everything will go smoothly enough. And when I return, I fully expect a new cape.