This weekend we went to Orlando, Maya and I. Unlike most of the families on the plane, we were not headed to Disney World, but to my uncle’s funeral. Maya never ceases to amaze me, the way she understands things at 6 that I’m not sure I do at 30. She seems to know instinctively how to comfort people. How to just be beside them. To be honest, I needed her.
One of the things not many people know about me is that when I say I want the window seat on the airplane it’s not because I’m a brat. It’s because I have to be able to see out of a moving vehicle of any type, or I will get sick. Generally, I can control it to the point that the little paper bags in the seat pocket aren’t necessary, but let’s just say that an aisle seat means that I will be turning green and practicing deep breathing exercises for the whole flight. It’s not pretty. Maya knows all of this. And as long as I let her unbuckle for a few minutes and look out the window mid-flight, she’s content to graciously let her mother have the window seat. After we got back to Kansas City and were on the bus to the parking lot, Maya noticed that the bus windows were covered with painted advertisements. I was OK because I could see out the front windows, but Maya was really concerned. She put her little hand on my arm and said, “Are you OK in here, Mom?”
In the airport, I saw a trio of women wearing plastic tiaras. I also saw a man wearing two cowboy hats, one on top of the other. I saw a grown woman whining like a child that her Burger King sandwich was not perfect. I saw a young AirTran employee who was far too happy to be awake and at work at 5:30 a.m., and silently envied his energy. Airport people watching is always the best.