Early one December morning last year, my husband and I, our three kids, their respective computer bags and rolling carry-on luggage spiraled through airport security lines as we got closer to our Florida vacation.
As anyone who has snaked through this routine knows, there’s little to do while waiting to move forward. The options involve obsessing over what might have been forgotten or staring at everyone around you who is doing that too.
On that particular day, I chose to stare at and then start a conversation with a 30-something mother and her family of five who were in line just behind us.
We engaged in the usual chatter about where we were going, how long we would be staying and the ages of our kids. Even as I listened to her answers and responded to questions myself, I also absorbed the sight of her three kids, ages 5 and under, her husband and all their accoutrements: diaper bags, jackets, shoes, stuffed animals and toddler-sized Disney-fied tote bags.
The 3-year-old boy squirmed in his father’s arms while the under 2-year-old son stretched out his legs and arched his back inside his stroller. The oldest boy stood restlessly beside his dad while clinging to a luggage strap that was hanging down from a shoulder.
As I watched the two parents alternately cajole, caress and calm down a different child while we progressed to the body scanners, memories of me being in their shoes flowed into my consciousness. That used to be my family, my kids and my paraphernalia, I thought.
Read the rest here. Thanks as always to the publisher and editor for letting me continue to write for them. This will be my eighth year of being published, my seventh for column writing with them. Very grateful.