My six year old son and I arrived at the LA airport about an hour before his Dad was set to land. We pow wowed and decided to walk to the United baggage claim area from the American Airlines baggage claim area where we were (yes, I am a little nervous that my airline filed for bankruptcy). We were dressed for NY weather which was not perfect for the balmy LA temperatures and we had a lot of stuff. Two rolling suitcases (45 pounds and 58 pounds), laptop, giant carry-on backpack, purse, two stuffed animals (the ones who hadn’t met daddy, tenty the giant squid and polar the polar bear) and honey blanket (he has named his baby blankets and still finds comfort in them.) We started out full of vim and vigor figuring we could make it down the sidewalk to terminal seven (we thought it was eight) from terminal four. My son started out wheeling his suitcase, it has four wheels and is very maneuverable but even that took its toll. Soon we decided that really what we needed was one of those airport carts. It was five dollars. I put my five dollars in and my son valiantly tried to free the cart but it would not come. I tried but also failed. So now we were irritated and tired and sweaty.
We finally got to terminal seven and decided on a strategic location to spot Keanu coming into the baggage claim area. As luck would have it, one of those chauffer pick up guys abandoned a cart right next to us and I swooped in immediately and took it. I beat out a couple who was farther away. I figured it was mine since I had actually paid for one and not gotten it. We kept checking the arrivals board and Keanu’s flight arrival time kept getting pushed back. I sent him a text letting him know we were in his terminal. Soon after he replied saying that he had just landed and would be there shortly. From where we were standing we could see the people coming down into the baggage claim terminal. We started to see people, who to me, looked like they had been on a flight from Hawaii. As we waited, I could feel my heart pounding in my chest and had to resist the urge to start crying. The six month separation was about to come to an end and it couldn’t happen soon enough.
Finally we saw him at the top of the stairs. He looked just like himself wearing my lifeguard shirt, a beanie, board shorts and slippers. It was very emotional. We are re-engaging as a family. It is funny how quickly we revert to our old selves and not in a bad way. Like putting on your favorite pair of old jeans and feeling so happy that they fit exactly right and that they just as comfortable as you remember them being; perfect for you.