Saturday, February 26, 2011

Smiles at the Crack of Dawn

The people at Perth Airport at 6.30 in the morning are a fairly cheerful lot.

The lady who did my bag check took me aside for a chat about the pains of leaving children behind after she saw I was a bit teary.  Her children were a lot older than my 13 month old and 3 3/4 year old when she first left them, but she felt the same tugs on her heart strings leaving them behind.  Her advice as I rolled away was to enjoy myself and try not to think so much.

The people waiting in the queue for coffee were also surprisingly upbeat.

'Who ordered a large tea?'

'That's me,' said a bloke obviously destined for the mines of far north Western Australia.

'Do you want two tea bags?'

'Sure, the more the merrier,' he replied.

'A large coffee? Did you want a double shot?'

'I'd love a double shot but I don't think I paid for it,' said a fellow in a business suit.

The woman behind the counter just smiled at him and poured the extra shot.

'Ahhh a real coffee drinker, thankyou,' he told her with a genuine smile.

Next to me is a family not unlike my own.  A baby is squawking in a pram while her older sister, probably three, is playing with a musical tea pot, stuffing her face with muffin while her tired looking Mum sings Happy Birthday every time the tea pot sings.

I am obviously sitting at Perth Airport, awaiting my flight to Sydney for my four day, child-free holiday. I am tired and nervous, a bit guilty and increasingly excited as all the airport sounds (the rumble of planes, voice-overs, the coffee machine, muted conversations, crying babies) gradually bring home to me the realisation that I am going on a jet-plane, flying across the continent, and will be far far away.

I have brought my new toy with me, my teeny tiny MacBook Air, my writing contest prize.  This is the first time I have used it.  As soon as I opened it a message asking if I wanted to join the Qantas wireless network greeted me, thereby relegating my initial blog topic (how on earth do you join a wireless network?) to the rubbish bin.

Across from me is a mum with a new baby, perhaps 6 months old. She saw me smiling at her baby and even though she returned the smile, I can tell she thinks I am an impostor. No one looking at me - alone, childless, carry-on baggage only, typing on a supercool laptop, would ever think I have two little girls at home, that I am a Mum with her heart being torn out.

But that is me, and despite any claim of this blog that I want to be anything else, or anything more, I realise there is nothing more.  I am me. I am writing, I am exploring, I am visiting my friends, loving my family, looking forward to the future.

And I need to pee.  But that's me too.

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