Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I Saw You

I saw you at the airport the other day.

You were at the check-in line with your arms wrapped snugly around your daughter. My kids saw you first and excitedly exclaimed, "Look! It's a little girl like Owen!" (That is their catch-phrase for anyone whose shade of skin resembles his. I really don't know why they don't say "like Ian" or "like Alec" but always, "like Owen!")

I think what was most thrilling was the fact that she "looked like Owen" and you didn't. The two of you didn't "match," just as we do not "match" in the traditional sense of the word. Later, your husband joined you and he didn't "match" either. Suffice it to say - without exaggeration - that seeing families like ours almost never happens where we live.

So I hoped to catch your eye and smile, but not once did you raise your head to risk contact with anyone. Neither did your daughter. I understood, having often created that same bubble around myself and my children in public, attempting to ward off uncomfortable stares and conversations. But somehow, this time it made me sad. You were both so serious, not smiling, and her arms clasping your waist tightly seemed almost fearful of the watching world.

Moments later, two thoughts came to my mind as my children emotionally said their goodbyes to their traveling daddy who would likely be on your flight, and I saw you stoically step in line behind him. The first, "I hope this is just an exception and this family isn't always wound so tightly. I hope their being different hasn't made them so serious and that at other times, they radiate happiness and enjoyment that I don't see today."  

My second heartfelt thought was, "I am so glad that my children have one another. I am so glad that although we may not all "match," each child has someone in our family who does." I truly believe it makes a difference and provides a sense of belonging. We sometimes joke that we are the Garcia "tribe" but there is a true security in being part of a group that loves, laughs, and lives life together.

I am so thankful for my family. I hope you are, too.  

I saw you at the airport the other day ... and I prayed for you. May God bless you with love, laughter and joy!

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