There’s a little girl seated in front of me on the plane. She’s about three and she’s talking nonstop. This little voice is so engaging. Maybe it sounds familiar. It is familiar. My son Danny sounded like this. He had a child’s voice but the full sentences and precise articulation of an adult. I’m smiling. She is adorable. He was adorable.
So adorable. But now he’s a man. And he’s graduating from college in a few days. And now I’m feeling myself tear up. The emotions I’ve been holding back are starting to come and I’m buckled into my seat without any tissues. We are still waiting to take off and the little girl is still talking. Now I’m thinking about my daughter. She’s 18 and she’s graduating from high school in a few weeks. She was adorable too. Oh God more tears. I’m wiping them and trying to act casual. And the little girl is still talking. Why can’t she be annoying?
Defense. I scramble in my bag and pull out my headphones. I just have to block out that little adorable voice. More tears – it’s waterworks now but at least I’m not sobbing. Ok some Bruno Mars will help – the first artist I see on my list. Young Girls? Ok ok. Hear we go. The tears are slowing. Ok get a hold of yourself. Ok a little solitaire. Ok we’re taking off. We’re heading to St Louis. My kids are gonna laugh. But I’m thinking this is just the beginning. I’m gonna be a mess these next few days.
I keep my headphones on but I think – I love this little girl. I love remembering how it all began. Like hearing Danny’s little boy voice again. But he’s not little anymore. And it’s just another beginning of course. But also an ending. And now here are the tears again. And we’ve hit turbulence. I’ll keep the headphones on. Just for the next few days. Or so.