I’ve been spending too much time in airports. Today was just a drop off but that was more than enough. This was my sixth airport in just over a month. I dropped off the child, who has spent the last week indulging me, for her first solo flight. In the waiting area we sat next to an extended family: Mother, Father, two girls, and the mother’s parents. The youngest of the girls was decked out in a princess costume. She twirled and skipped while the older girl feigned enchantment. Just the grandparents were flying and when it was time for Mother, Father, and the two girls to leave there was a lot of hugging and kissing. And then more hugging and kissing. Eventually, the girls and their parents headed for the exit. The grandfather sat down beside his wife, got up, sat down again, and then stood up and trudged after his daughter and her family. When he returned there were tears on his cheeks. My eyes started burning and I turned away from the child in front of me. She was telling me that she didn’t want a boy chaperone*. I was thinking how quickly time passes. First there’s forever in front of you and then you are wondering how many more times you will see the people you love.
The child is now in the air heading west and has probably already ordered the first of many Sprites, which she has been instructed not to tell me about.
I took the OrlyBus home, 7.20 € and 18 minutes. Not too bad though the bus driver neglected to unfurl the ramp for me despite my waving to him as he approached. I boarded with the help of the pleasant bystander I’d enlisted to purchase my ticket for me (the ticket kiosk wasn’t working so all tickets had to be purchased onboard). The bus was packed and although there were announcements in French, English, Spanish, and Italian reminding riders to use the luggage racks the aisles were crammed with body sized suitcases. I found a spot between a silk scarf wearing French woman and a nervous American couple bickering about how they were going to get from the bus to their final destination. The male complained that their bags were too big and that the female should have told him how complicated the bus would be. I have no idea how the female responded.
On my way home from the bus stop I bought a noisette from a small round man with sad eyes then found myself dodging bubbles as I exited his shop. I looked up and spotted the source of the shimmering orbs, two boys with bubble wands leaning out of a third floor window. Simple pleasures.
*The child got a male chaperone and followed him to the security line without a word of complaint and as if she’d done it 100 times before.