I know, I’m breaking my hiatus. My bad. Trust me, this is worth it though, and it’ll warm you heart a little.
The other day I was hanging around near the Burbank airport baggage claim waiting to pick up a friend, and observed one of the coolest, warmest, and most genuine moments I’ve ever experienced in a public, crowded area. And inspired by the person I was picking up at the airport (Miss Megan Klingensmith), and motivated by an often-overlooked holiday, I will convey this story to you.
As I was trying my best to ignore the screaming babies and bustling people scurrying about trying to find their luggage, I noticed a small child running around in front of me. He was about 4 or 5 years old, and I could tell he had that adorable little-kid-lisp just by looking at him. (Or maybe that thing were they pronounce their R’s like W’s. Definitely one of those though.) He was that adorable. Anyway, I didn’t pay much attention to him, as I was waiting for my friend to call me saying her plane had landed, but then something happened I couldn’t ignore.
The boy’s father, a skinny thirty-something year old who seemed like a quiet, nice man walked over to his rambunctious son and kneeled down next to him. It already seemed like a moment right out of a Hallmark card, so I glanced over a little and tried to pretend I wasn’t blatantly eavesdropping.
I could tell the son was excited about some toy or some fun event the family had just shared together, but it seemed like he knew just as much as I did that his father was about to share some kind of important, special piece of wisdom with him. The son’s excitement diminished a bit as he looked to his father. He was 4, maybe 5 years old and he still felt the intensity of the moment already.
The father looked into the son’s eyes and said, “Zach, do you know what happened there?” He pointed at the ground right in front of them, near the baggage claim.
The boy shook his head as I noticed the boy’s mother with a stroller, complete with baby and stuffed animal, walking/rolling over from behind them. She had a smile on her face as if she knew what was about to transpire and just how special it was.
“Right there, is the very first place I saw your mother,” he said with a genuine smile on his face.
The boy didn’t seem to fully understand it yet, and he asked, “Right there?” Although it sounded a lot more like, “Wight Dayu?” (See? Adorable kid.)
The father’s smile grew as he repeated, “Yep, right there is the first time I laid my eyes on her.” It was obvious he knew his blushing bride was right behind them. “Way before you or your sister were around.”
“Before?” (“Beefow?”), the son asked, shocked, as if it had never really occurred to him that things happened before he was around.
The mom chimed in, “Yep, that’s right, Zach. Right there.”
At this point, I started to feel bad about listening on such a seemingly private conversation, but I couldn’t really help it. It was priceless.
Then the dad look at his wife with a, “Would you ever have guessed that night we’d be here right now doing this with our children?” kinda look. She returned the favor with a, “You’re the best boy a girl could ask for.” kinda look.
They then gathered up their kids, got their luggage and walked away. I couldn’t help but stare. I know, horrible manners, but c’mon. It was the coolest, most genuine moment I’ve ever experienced at an airport baggage claim. Ever. And I’ve been to a lot of those things.
Now, assuming that this man’s wife wasn’t a mail-order bride, and that’s why that was the first time they met (heck, even if she was) this is a heartwaming story about true love and mushy stuff and all that jazz.
Moral of the story…well, I guess the moral or point or whatever is just…for all the amazing moments like this one with dads all over the world, Happy Father’s Day. Stay classy, fatherhood.