A hawk, possibly a Sharp-shinned or maybe even a Cooper’s, circled close overhead as we sat in the rental car in front of my father-in-law’s a moment this morning and set the GPS for the airport. And again as if tracing the cul-de-sac in the sky. As we pulled out, it went ahead of us a bit and circled one last time in good-bye and then away, and I exclaimed to Richard that it was the perfect ending to our visit with his dad. It had been *so* good to see him this past week and the hawk coming so close was like a connection between Texas and home, a sense of till-the-next-time.
There was more to come.
On the flight leaving Dallas before ours, there was a family–a dad, a mom, two little girls about four and five and a baby–who got to the gate just in time to preboard but it was clear it had been a hustle and a hassle making it at all in time and they were stressed. Their flight was late, which had helped a lot. The dad was trying not to be cross. But his face gave him away.
It was a risk… I didn’t want to be putting him on the spot and I didn’t know how he would react when all I knew about him was that he was not feeling overly charmed by his cute little girls in just that one little moment. But who would want to be judged forever by those public moments when you’re not the perfect parent. I wavered.
But by then I’d already found two cute ones in the depths of that purse and they spoke for themselves: these were, first and foremost, for the parents. A pink flamingo with black beak and eyes and a black condor, the tips of its wings and tail edged in white.
Meanwhile, the guy looking at their boarding passes was finding something not immediately right and making them stand there and stand there and stand there while everybody else was waiting to go on that plane (no pressure!) and what that did was create a sense of anticipation while giving me enough time to get me over my fear of reaching out. So there you go.
A small tap (it was the dad, I couldn’t reach the mom without falling over a trash can or a kid), his turning around, and suddenly his face lit up and then at me in wonder and then the mom’s too and they were surprised and thrilled and the wife said, “These are so cute! Thank you! Did you make them?”
“I wish, but no, I buy them from Peru but they are hand knit. We’ve had little ones,” I smiled, nodding at their children, who hadn’t caught on yet that these were for them.
They thanked me again and it was like that was what the no-nonsense airport guy needed to be done with them and he sent them on their way past the gate.
As they headed away I was relieved and glad to have seen the best in both parents having immediately come to life. That was the gift they gave to me.
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