Getting Passports for My Kids: The Real Story

My eyes flew open. The fan stopped. Why did the fan stop?

“Mama!” A young voice yells. I hear the foot stomps getting closer to the bedroom door. “Mama!”


The door flies open. My 4 year old son bounds into my bedroom. “Mama, the power is out,” he says.

“I know,” I say, still drowsy. “Go back downstairs with papa, okay? I’ll be down shortly. Please don’t wake your sister.”

Of course, by this time, everyone is awake. Please let there be coffee, is my mantra on each step down the stairs.

In this post, I told you how easy it is to get passports for your children, what exactly needs to be done, and what to expect. While it was a fairly simple process, I left out the story of getting to our appointment. It started with a power outage.

There was coffee. Thank you, universe.

The passport photos were done several days in advance and I finished the applications the evening before our appointment. However, because setting up the printer is kind of a pain, we didn’t print the forms on Friday night.

The power is off, I thought on Saturday morning. How are we going to print the forms for the passports?

Without power, we can’t do much of anything around here, including running our water.

“Time to get dressed,” I say to the kids, as the time to leave approaches.

Whirrrrrrr! And brightness as the lights turn on!

“The printer isn’t working. I printed the forms, but I can’t copy our IDs,” my husband tells me. “Are you sure they won’t copy the IDs at the post office?”

“I don’t know,” I respond. “I want to be prepared.”

We left with a little extra time to stop somewhere and make copies of our IDs, since it wasn’t  clear if the post office would do that for us (they did). We were out the door in record time!


In the golden light, getting  passport seems so easy, beautiful, and fun!

Haste makes waste

“Do you have my wallet?” My husband asked suddenly, when we were almost to the post office.


Passports – take two

“We are going to be late,” I say, checking the time, as we are leaving our house for the second time. “I hope they still take us today!”

“Calm down,” said my husband, knowing my stress level rises if I’m late. “They’ll still take our applications.”

Keeping my internal freak out to myself, I watch the corn and soybean fields pass. The day is stunning, I think. The sky was that perfect shade of blue, with the occasional fluffy white cloud. Like you see in paintings. Or cartoons.

“Maybe when we go to Chile, we can pop over to Argentina, too,” I say, like it’s the easiest thing in the world.

“Carl had steaks and malbec every night,” he replied, referring to his coworker’s college trip to Argentina.

We finally arrive at the post office, only a few minutes late. They are completely unfazed. the process starts, which is supposed to take 15 minutes per child. It’s done right at the counter at the post office, which quickly gets busy on a Saturday morning.

I solemnly swear I am up to no good

My husband and I solemnly swore that what we’d written on the application was true and accurate to the best of our knowledge. The kids start goofing around. They didn’t eat enough, I think. It’s also nap time.

“And me without my carrier,” I say under my breath, leading the kids to a less crowded area of the post office, to let off some steam.

Get your passports

This gem was found inside the post office.

Mischief managed

While the appointment wasn’t terribly long, it felt long because we were hungry and tired. I had to remind myself *why* I want to travel with kids in the first place.

“It’s a great education,” I say to myself. “For all of us!”

It’ll stretch us out of our comfort zones. I don’t want to wait to start adventuring with our children. I’ve spent far too much time waiting for the perfect circumstances to travel. For us, the time is now (well, once those passports arrive!)

Do you have a silly travel story? How did it work out?

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