If any of you have ever traveled with young children on an airplane, it can sometimes be a bit scary. We were brave when we decided to take our three children (that’s what we had at the time) to Costa Rica to visit some missionary friends. Our children were aged 5, 3, and almost 2.

We had to change flights in Miami, but we didn’t think anything bad could happen. We had plenty of time to catch our next flight, so we decided we wouldn’t rush off the plane. We were the last of the passengers to get off. Our two oldest children were pulling a carry-on (our three-year-old had a small one, perfect for his size) and we had four other carry-ons with us.

We got to the end of the jet bridge and stopped to stare at the up escalator. How were we going to get up that thing? There was no way to get back down, there was only an escalator heading up. Ok, our five-year-old may be able to get on – without her bag – by herself with a little help, but we knew our three-year-old and two-year-old couldn’t go by themselves. Would one of us be able to take the three children and the other the six carry on bags? We didn’t think so.

Well, our brave little three-year-old son decided that he could get on the escalator, but he fell. He kept crawling and crawling to avoid getting “eaten” by the escalator. We could see the horror in his eyes. As we tried to reach him, someone stopped the escalator! We were so thankful. By that time, the pilot had come off the plane. He saw our predicament and helped us by carrying some of our bags for us. With the escalator stopped, we were able to climb the stairs with the children and the other bags.

Yes, I can laugh at it now, but it was not something I was willing to laugh at then. I thought my son was about to end up in the hospital with an injury to one of his hands.

We were very thankful for the help of that pilot and the person at the top of the escalator who saw what had happened and stopped it.

You need to be ready for anything when you travel with young children!