St. Louis Airport
I remember the airport being just this empty when I took my kids late at night to pick up their dad. He had been away on business for nearly 2 weeks and it was hard to tell who was the most excited for him to come home.
At the Gate
It was about a decade before 9-11, so we were free to walk to the gate to wait for the flight's arrival. Best of all, Southwest Airlines had recently installed some plastic climbing toys! At ages 2 and 4, Scott and Heidi were giddy to see the lonely equipment waiting just for them.
They clomped all over the slide and climber for a while, then began giggling as they used me as a climber. Their eager energy shook the whole row of seats and I knew their high spirits could easily crumble if that plane didn't hurry up.
I calmed them for a while with a little "I Spy" and a few silly songs...then some face making contests and guessing games about what Daddy would be wearing. Where was that plane?
No Longer Alone
The kids began to yawn and curl up next to me when I noticed the first person we had seen since we arrived at the gate. She was a young woman, smiling as she approached. "Could I ask you a question?" She asked. Then she turned and pointed to a somewhat embarrassed looking young man across the way. "We've been watching you and the kids and I'm thinking you are their mother. But my boyfriend says that's impossible." I laughed and told her they were my kids. She grinned and shook her head. "I was right! He said you couldn't be the mom because you were having too much fun."
Thanks Curious Girl! You have no idea how often I've recalled that brief encounter. You could have just wondered and never spoken. But sharing the funny thoughts you and your boyfriend discussed, gave me a terrific boost. I hadn't noticed you watching us. I'm glad your observations determined what I've always known, that I enjoy my kids!
To celebrate my birthday in April 2012, I decided to reflect on the past with a different kind of list. I've met a lot of people in my 55 years, but I'm going to stop and remind myself about the strangers I've met. These are people I met by accident, not through friends or work. For some reason, these strangers dropped into my life. Even though we may have only spent a few minutes together, these people have never been forgotten.
Each week, I'll spotlight someone I met in the past, who in some small way, made me stop and think.
Remember 55 Strangers