It’s been a little bit of a whirlwind since yesterday afternoon when I booked a last minute flight to see a friend out west!
Some might say, “How nice of you!” but truth is, as soon as I realized it was even a possibility it just felt right. It felt time. The mom who couldn’t hardly bring herself to leave her toddler for an afternoon of errands (sniffling in the driveway while her sister said, “It’s just the first time! You’ll be Ok!”) a couple of months ago, proved primed and ready today. And she kissed her baby without tears and got on a plane.
Now I sit at a gate in the Phoenix airport, a place that becomes crowded and uncrowded every 30 minutes, carryon bag camped on the floor beside me, all my laundry and dishes and lunches hurriedly wrapped up last night before getting in bed at a still decent hour to snuggle my baby girl like I’d be gone a year. I’m not even sure if it’s the right gate anymore but with three hours until my next flight, I haven’t looked back.
Aisle seats don’t afford much of a view or else I would have melted the oval window, breathing into it and soaking up the panoramas throughout the four hour plus flight from Atlanta.
There are brown stretches of mountains with sparse vegetation dominating the views from floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides of the terminal and a pile of closer rocks that hint at what the others look like up close.
I could just stare at them forever. Every time I’m out this way, Seattle/Vancouver, San Francisco/Yosemite, San Diego/Tiajuana, Vegas/Grand Circle, I find myself lagging behind the group to silently, wordlessly behold. Today it was on the people-mover that accelerates the walking speeds of travelers and airport personnel, but the rolling luggage and jostling, breathless commuters behind me, of course, had different plans for this lollygagger.
For the first time, in a long time, I get to be a real people watcher! There is no such thing as being inconspicuous with a baby or toddler or while carrying on in conversation with my husband. (I miss them both already so I might be in for a long week!) Confirmation of this is all around me as I can’t help but listen in on a gaggle of children belonging to one mom who are “picnicking on the floor”, planning to “live at this airport forever” and negotiating who is next in the bathroom rotation. Never anonymous.
And as the din gets louder and louder (with my real earplugs this time!) I can’t help but wonder how so many people could possibly live in Omaha boarding beside my gate?
I’m so happy and never did I realize how much I needed a break as when I embarked on one or as when my mom, after agreeing to an insane amount of babysitting yesterday, said, “Go ahead and book, you need this. It’s money well-spent!”
Only a fraction into it, I couldn’t agree more.