Tuesday, August 15, 2017

People Watching in the Airport

Returned to Dust- Digital Art by Tracey Grumbach
"...there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust."

John Greene; The Fault in Our Stars

As I sat waiting to board the plane that would take me to my daughter and her new apartment many states away, I became hyper-aware of all the people and human interaction around me at the airport.

A young boy, perhaps 8 or 9 years old was exiting the jetway having just arrived to Baltimore from goodness knows where. He screamed, "Mama!" and ran, bursting into tears, leaping in to the waiting arms of his mother, who was also crying. They embraced for a long while, each wiping the tears of the other from their cheeks. I sat and wondered what their story was. Where did the boy go and for how long was he gone? Why was he traveling alone?

A couple, maybe in their 20's, were having an intense conversation, huddled close to each other near the bathrooms. He had her wrapped in her arms, her face nestled into the soft spot where his arm connects with his shoulder. She was crying and dabbing her eyes and nose with a Silver Diner napkin, a forlorn look on her face. He kissed the top of her head and held her close, talking in whispers back to her. Finally, they released each other and walked away together toward the gates. I wonder what news had her so upset? Where were they traveling? Was there a death in the family?

A little girl was playing across the aisle from me at another gate. She was giggling loudly and running around with her shirt pulled over her face, her preschool belly open and bare. Her father would grab her, spin her around and give her a tickle, pulling the shirt back down where it belonged. The girl would laugh uncontrollably, pull her shirt right back over her face, and set off running in circles, blindly. Her mother then grabbed her, corrected the shirt, giggled at her daughter, and then set her free again. This cycle repeated over and over again to the dismay of the elderly couple doing sudoku puzzles  across from me. The woman declared that this behavior in a public place was not mannerly and that even if the father thinks he is being funny, it certainly was not. I questioned...where was the family of three headed to? Why was the elderly couple at my gate so irritated over a toddler having fun? Were the old man and woman traveling to Orlando to visit Disney, as their hats would indicate?

I find people fascinating. I love to people watch. I make up stories about them in my head. I find emotion fascinating. I love watching how people interact with each other...how they fight, how they love, how they comfort, how they laugh. Humans are incredible and strange animals.

Do you love to people watch? Where is your favorite place to watch others?

I am still in Florida helping my daughter get settled. It is going well so far and I am so proud of how she is handling everything. There have been a few challenges and she seems to have overcome them with grace and gratitude. Proud of my son for taking care of the house and animals while we are gone, and proud of the twins for being so helpful as their sister gets tucked into life here in Florida. I am a blessed mother for sure.

For all of those who followed my cousins' stories from back in October when they were in a near-fatal accident and left with significant brain injuries, I wanted to let you know Kirsten left for college yesterday. She is all set up in her dorm and ready to conquer this next phase of her life. I couldn't be prouder of her. I know her parents, my cousins, will miss her desperately, just as we will miss Brenna, but they are also bursting with pride. They were not sure just less than a year ago if she would live to see another day much less recover enough to begin college on time. This is indeed a special time. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday. We will be heading to Ikea to pick a few things to organize Brenna's new apartment. We are looking forward to her roommate arriving on Thursday. This is such a neat time of life watching my kids begin adulthood. Neat, but strange.

Until tomorrow...


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