Non-Fiction Short Stories. Travel, oldsters, love, moments worthy of pause. Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
Before we board, the mother in the pink Adidas t-shirt leaves her two daughters with her husband as she storms away to take a call, announcing to the gate area, “What? No. We couldn’t find anyone to watch my kids. No one wants to do it. My kids are crazy.” Nearly all the waiting passengers glance over at the father and the children, and then sadly toward their boarding passes. Some close their eyes, perhaps wishing for the young family to be in a different section during the 9 hour flight.
Naturally, it’s easy to locate difficult kids on an airplane, but the excellent ones are also there. A little girl whimpers and threatens to cry as we taxi, but she’s joking. In the next second she smiles and waves at her neighbors. Another child grins around his pacifier. Outside the restroom, an elderly woman rests in the jump seat. At her side is a little boy with a blanket and a Curious George doll who tells passengers waiting for vacancy, “Wait a minute! My mom is in there. I’m supposed to wait here with my monkey.” And people stand patiently, smiling at him, as he warns others who arrive. “My mom is in there.” So pleased with his task.
And the girls previewed so poorly by their mother, they sit patiently in their seats. Their father reaches into the overhead bin to get down a favorite blanket, and they don’t make a sound, other than happy-quiet laughter as they watch a movie. After all the nervous glances across the aisles, here sits hope against hope.
–Flight from Chicago to Vienna.