Ines Mariel

Monday, March 5, 2012

The first time I ever boarded an aircraft back to my hometown was with my Dad. We didn't have much money back then so Mum had to stay behind while my Dad and I visited my grandparents. I was 3 months old. Granted, I did not recall the experience, but I soon grew a custom to being carted as I stayed with my grandparents until I was about 6. When school started I would visit them twice a year for Christmas and in the middle of the school year; which meant that I only stayed in school for about a quarter of the year. Life was definitely good.

I liked travelling alone. I never was a clingy child to begin with and even though I was carted until I was about 15 (or whatever the legal age that allows you to stop being carted), my independence in the airport was definitely liberating. The journey definitely made me feel more of a grown up even though I loved specifying my on board meals to "the children special" comes with a sugary treat and a high sodium meal, what was not to like? As soon as I said my goodbyes I was a free man. I could do pretty much anything I wanted. I could buy all the candies and chocolates at the duty free store and no one could stop me. I could order as many fizzy drinks I want or stay up during the whole 8 hour flight...I could run around in circles at the airport and there won't be anyone telling me to behave (not that I did, but I could). I was such a badass...

I remembered a particular flight to Sydney where I met this lady who was seated next to me. I remembered her the most because I was lying to my teeth about the fact that I had 59 cats back home. All she did was humor me and offered a butterscotch candy in between my story telling and when I do get tired from talking she would help me color in the pages out of the activity book that came with the fun pack they normally distributed to kids. I remembered how enthralled and attentive (she might pretend to be, but nonetheless very convincing) she was listening to my made up stories even though I am pretty sure all she wanted to do was to get a shut eye, or shoot my brains out. Thank god she didn't. Unfortunately though, it made me never want to stop talking to her. It was nice being heard and it still is. Amazing how the most minute actions can still make you all warm and fuzzy inside.

She was pretty old when I knew her, so I am pretty sure she would be gone by now (bless her soul) and even though I can't remember her name, I could still recall what a pleasant person she was and how she would make a very good grandma to some lucky kid out there....not saying that my grandparents weren't equally pleasant.

I was lying on my bed the other day reading a book (fine, a magazine), and all of a sudden I was struck by images of her and it brought me back to my juvenile years. Full of energy and so animated... I mean, I still am now, just not as carefree as I used to be. It is pretty hard to describe this feeling, but what I do know is the simplicity of your childhood definitely leaves an absence or an emptiness in your life that you know can never be fulfilled. If I could I would go on all day about my childhood, despite my situation right now, I truly did have a good one. I was never deprived off the things I wanted and was blessed to have experienced what most could only dream off while being surrounded with so much love. For that, I am very thankful because even in my darkest hour I could still fall back to my days as a child and be assured that no matter what, everything is going to be okay.

And I know it will.


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