Saturday, January 16, 2010

Getting Better

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post originally appeared on One More, More Than One on November 5, 2009. It is reproduced here with the author's permission. Click here to see this post in its original context (which may include accompanying photos), to view existing comments and to leave a comment of your own.

* * * * *

Sunday morning, San Francisco Airport.

I saw a woman walking with her son.

Something about him looked familiar.

Does he? No. Yes. Maybe?

No, definitely yes.

Do I say something? I want to. But what?

We still don't have a secret handshake or a gang sign yet, do we? Dammit.

Someone really needs to put that on the agenda at the next convention.

Until then, I just can't walk away.

There's this pull. It's like a magnet.

I head towards my terminal, but something turns me around. They're still there. Walking slowly. Taunting me and my inability to leave well enough alone?

I step towards them, recognizing the familiar feeling of angst over whether this will make me look foolish.

I circle them like prey.

Does he? No. Yes. Maybe?

No, definitely yes.

The mother looks nice enough.

God, I hope I'm not wrong.

If I think about it any more, I'll punk out.

So I open my mouth.

"Good morning," I say with a smile.

The mother gives me the "You better not be trying to sell me something" look.

I have to keep going. Finish what I've started.

"I'm sorry to bother you, but I always feel compelled to speak to others who are on a parenting journey similar to mine."

Hm. That came out smoother than I expected. Wordy, but definitely better than what I've said in the past.

She smiles.

She knows what I'm talking about.

She asks me about my child. I tell her.

She smiles some more.

She tells me that they're only walking so slow because her son hurt his foot.

He lives on his own, you know.

And he assists with their local college football team.

I notice his jeans that are frayed at the bottom, his t-shirt, and flip flops.

He looks like any other guy his age.

I smile some more.

I could talk to them for so much longer, but soon I wish them safe travels, not wanting to overstay my welcome.