A half hour earlier, I shared with friends and fam, “Work went horribly yesterday. This AM I’ve seen so many excited kids at the airport, I can’t help but be cheerful. If only we could all be as in-the-moment and full of awe as children are❤️.”
Now, in row 23, a couple asked if I’d give up my aisle and move to row 20. Hmm, a cramped window seat. My mood was wonderful, so, “Ok.”
I disrupted a woman on the aisle to let me to the window. We buckled. Across the aisle, the TV didn’t work, frustrating her 5-year-old daughter who wore a rainbow tie-dye mask, earphones with glitter, bright pants with unicorns, and mismatched socks. I saw her in the terminal, gleefully toting a cute little black-sequined backpack. I learned later they were heading to grandparents they’d just seen over Christmas, but they usually drove the 10 hours, so this was a kids’ treat. Dad and two other kids stayed home.
For the TV fail, a flight attendant offered mom points, a menu drink… She chose beer.
She asked me, “You an Irish fan?” from my sweatshirt. She went there too. I asked what she studied. Theology!
Biology. 3 credits short of a theology minor:)
Her husband – met there – finance, with a theology minor.
At a different place, she got a theology Ph.D. in ecclesiology and church-as-sacrament. Still teaches there for adult continuing education, and is a mission director for a high school.
The family shuffled seats to get the youngest in front of a working a TV. Dr. Mom opened her laptop to work. The son, probably 8 or 10, settled beside me as I held his Canada Dry.
“I’m Neil. What’s your name?”
“That’s a cool name; you like it?”
Nod. Who’s this weirdo stranger danger.
“James, I got 3 little sisters. They can be a pain.”
I chose Cheezits.
Since they didn’t have chips, James chose them too. Put his headphones back on, back to TV.
I smiled under my mask, ear to ear, a teardrop fell my mask’s ridge.
My goodness, kids rock.
Neil D. 2023-01-13.
Friday the 13th is an awesome day