Walking through airports
with my 16-year-old daughter
both of us Easter bedecked
painting the air spring green
and Pepto pink
as we move purposefully along

We are on an adventure

I’ve dreamed of trips like this
since I first held my slip of a girl
in the bend of my arm
at 2 am
and watched her sleep
lips wet with formula
her soft hair smelling of talc

I saw us at sidewalk cafes
laughing over her most recent crush
shopping bags littered at our feet
her complaining about her chemistry teacher
and his nausea inducing halitosis
me caught in a whirl of her endless words

I imagined the arguments over curfews
catching her sneaking into our house
near the same wee hours
that played host to my musings
over her infinite possibilities

I watch her walk ahead of me in this airport
so small and determined
tugging a carry on suitcase along
that is nearly half as high as her

She’s searching for a restroom
and when we arrive
she points and asks
“Is this the girl’s room?”

I follow her in
and when she reemerges
I ask her to remove her fingers from her mouth
wash her hands with soap
make sure her polka dot dress with the green satin sash
is dry
in place

She is excited
that we are on this adventure
although confused about where we are going
“No, Minnesota.”

If you ask her what state she lives in
she’ll say
“I don’t know, mom.
Help me.”

The TSA agent queries
“What’s your name, Hon?”
she turns and hides her face in my side
my fear momentarily surfacing
‘Will they believe we belong to each other?’

this is not as I imagined

but we are on an adventure

She is happy

and so
most days
am I

© Julie Ayers
April 2012 – NaPoWriMo 5


About Julie Ayers

Seasoned apocaloptimist, keen admirer of well-placed words, fierce mama bear of extra special children, black belt hugger, and advocate for a fashion rebellion which elevates the most human of hearts to socially acceptable outerwear.

4 responses »

  1. Your writing is incredible. I can visualize every moment – from what wasn’t to what is. It’s all beautiful, though reality is a different kind of beautiful. The unexpected – hard. Lovely.

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