Saturday, August 29, 2009
Arriving at Gate C....my grown up girl!
I love the scene in the movie Love Actually right at the beginning of the film when Hugh Grant is doing the voice over and he talks about how whenever he feels depressed about the state of the world, he just goes down and hangs out at the Arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport and watches as the arriving passengers are greeted by their friends and families. It is there that he is reminded that "love is all around". I had to go to Pearson Airport today to pick up my daughter who was returning from Scotland and I was earlier than I needed to be, so I got to do just that. I sat and watched as people arrived, their eager and anxious faces scanning the crowd for a familiar face. I am pretty sure I welled up with tears at least fourteen times in an hour as I watched the joyful greetings of lovers, friends, grandparents and grandchildren and parents and small children. It was really uplifting - all that love and happiness radiating around a few hundred square feet. It was almost addictive. I couldn't wait to finish up the show with one before I was on to the next one. A stand-out in the crowd was the sight of a very old east Indian woman - a great grandmother who had to sit while two of her very tiny great grandchildren leapt onto her lap and flung their arms around her neck, smothering her cheeks with kisses. I needed a tissue after that one. The second most emotional one for me was a rather geeky homely looking man about 40 who stood with his large bouquet of flowers in anticipation of his arrival. I was curious about him, so I kept an eye on him until I suddenly saw his face light up as his sweetheart arrived, a woman about his own age, not much better looking than he was, easily 60 lbs of extra cushioning on her aging body - he turned and half-ran toward her and she to him, and they embraced, tears flowing down her cheeks as she accepted his flowers and he was so happy to see her, it was like a scene from a romance movie. I had to turn away before they noticed I was now crying too. Then it was time for my own anticipated reunion with my lovely daughter Emma - I watched her round the corner from the baggage pick-up, she looked taller than when she left and she looked more mature and she was smiling. I knew in an instant her trip had been a great adventure and we hugged as she talked, eager to launch into her stories, and I couldn't wait to hear them. This was her first trip abroad without her parents tagging along and I sensed immediately it would not be her last. The first thing she said was that she had not been ready to come home - it had gone too fast and she was smitten by the travel bug. I'm glad she had such a positive experience and I am even more glad that she wants to venture around the world. She already wants to go again next summer - this time to London and Stratford. In the same breath as she said that, she also launched into how she was going to try and earn money working part-time to help pay for it. Good thing - because although it's great that she wants to see the world, it is equally great that she understands there is a price to pay for the privilege. To say I am proud of her would be an understatement. At least it seems she got some of my genes - not just the negative ones! Welcome home kiddo - glad to have you back.