last week as i waited for my plane back to california, i was wide-eyed and open- mouth as i watched the various tents of the circus they call ‘terminal 3’.

for the most part when i travel, i trek happy, my skies are almost always friendly. following in the shiny-shoed footsteps of my parents, i always dress for traveling: a frock fit for sunday best. or rather, in my case, saturday night close second.

more often than not i’m in a skirt or dress. public restrooms are phobias of mine, and the thought of a long-legged trouser skimming a bathroom floor sends me screaming to pharmacist for beta-blockers.

with hunkiest’s delta status of late, we’ve been getting bumped into fancy class quite frequently. i would hate to feel schlumpy in sweat pants and tennis shoes while downing my sixth, hot from the easy bake oven, chocolate chip cookie…although the elastic waistband is nice.

summer airports feel different from their colder, more bundled, rushed siblings of fall and winter. less coats, more visors and hats of straw, t-shirts of states and cities visited. there are more families which can mean more childhood meltdowns {and one father}, more lil’ ones to watch for underfoot, and less politesse when boarding the plane.

the gate line up seems to always produce a giggle fit from me. there’s something about getting onto that plane for some people that completely erases every manner learned or awareness of self, and turns them into hogs gone wild. suddenly their ticketed, undersold plane to orange county becomes the last flight out of saigon, with only three seats left open, and 300 caged fighters clamoring for spots.

one grown woman {in age, not maturity} told the flight attendant she was filing a complaint for the incompetency of the pre-flight boarding: she had to wait too long in the jetway, she was getting hot, hungry and her legs were tired. mind you, this was after she had already cut in line, knocking into a woman holding a baby, and bag-rolled over an open toed sandal without so much as an acknowledgement, let alone an “i’m sorry.” within earshot i told the same flight attendant i, too, was filing a complaint about said complainer’s ugly pants……making friends wherever i go.

the pre-boarding show wasn’t as infuriating, mostly just families in various stages of energy levels:

there were the sun-burnt kiddies at gate 67, buzzing around like meth’d up bumblebees, sword fighting each other with their day-glo mini roller bags, knocking over fellow travelers’ laptop cases and starbucks trays. their mom, neck-deep in the latest issue of us magazine, starting the, i assume at one time threatening, count down of “1……2……3……” and then quickly losing count and interest upon turning the page to details of the upcoming kardashian wedding.

meanwhile dad, sitting two rows behind, practically at a different gate, alternating between a furious game of angry birds on his iphone and napping; oblivious to both his wife and precious baby bees.

in the northeast tent {gate 63} i watched the sweetest, young, first-time parents from tempe, travel, for the first time, with their darling bundle of gooey yum. taking their shifts on bucket duty, both dying a slow, little death over every cry and gurgle-still in disbelief noises could be so adorable. dying another slow, little death over those same cries and gurgles, worrying that fellow passengers won’t share their same affinity. baby, oblivious in his happy, fat-thighed, baby world, cooing back at his parental stress monkeys, flashing a tooth-less, gummy grin melting the tension and hearts of all of us fellow travelers. cry all you want baby boy you’ve just endeared 41 more for bucket duty.

but the family who took center ring took my heart as well. on a layover back to ohio from disneyland, emma cinderella still sporting her gown from the ball, danced charmingly and happily upon dad prince charming’s toes as he fought off the urge to yelp and wince. exhausted from a week of non-stop disney intervals, dad, sprawled out in his terminal chair, let his cinderella stomp dance to her heart’s content as momma sleepily looked on, and clapped to the imaginary orchestra who had been playing for the last two hours of their wait time. sucked dry on princesses and pool time, these dear parents nevertheless quietly continued the magic for their angel girl.

a fitting grand finale.

wednesday happy m’loves.