Room for waiting

I found myself waiting with my four year old at an airport recently for a much much longer time than was originally planned.  The flight carrying my husband and daughter was scheduled to arrive at 12:50 but unbeknownst to me, initially, they missed their flight and so we ended up having to wait around until 4:20.

I had a lot of pressures of work that were hanging heavy on my mind and there were definitely a lot of different things I could have been  accomplishing with that time, but it made no sense to get in the car and double our drive just to come back two hours later. So, we had to wait.

Amazingly, the hours slipped along in a kind of rhythm all its own--a rhythm perhaps only possible in an environment as bland as an airport.

Hour one: We dared not even go to the bathroom in case we missed them. While we waited for the plane to disembark(the one that we thought they were on), we tried to imagine all the questions that customs  were presumably asking them while we waited.

1. What is your son's favourite food?
Sushi (I was going to say pizza but I changed my mind)
Correct, sir.
2. What colour is your son's rubber boots?
Green and black.
Correct, sir (He insisted on the "correct/incorrect" response)
3.What day is today, daycare or preschool?
A free day.
Correct, sir.

Hour two: The discovery that actually they were nowhere near custom officials getting questioned because they were either in another airport or in a plane high above our heads happened finally at the beginning of hour 2.  We decided to go find something more substantial to eat than timbits.  The discovery took some time. We had to observe a whole lot of people arriving from New York and London first.  It slowly sank in that perhaps they were not being grilled by customs and had actually just not made the flight.  By the time this sank in, we were hungry, so, we ate.(and finally dared to use the bathroom)

Hour three: Visiting the live lobsters at the lobster store led to another discovery.  Red and not moving lobsters are dead lobsters.

Hour four meant we were almost there, we spent most of it in the observation deck. I watched planes take off and land and we discovered that planes are a lot like buses.  However, we also discovered that there was really no playplace in the entire place except for a tiny tablet of plastic and a miniature chalk board tacked up in the observation deck.

The lights were off, snow flakes were falling, the light of the day started to diminish.  The arrivals monitor kept us updated so we could keep track of which plane was going where.

The very last 15 minutes consisted of retrieving "maps" from the tourist information desk to places that my son wants to visit soon, so we don't get lost getting there. Now we know how to get to the go cart place and the harbour hopper.

Peace drifted in.  Waiting can be fun sometimes I discovered.  But first, I had to make room in my head to wait. Waiting room.

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