Our Gold at the End of the Runway

“Maa-aa, how long until we get there?” This was the tenth time this phrase had surfaced from the back seat. Mother had stopped answering, and instead handed my sister a different Mad-Libs tablet. We were on our way to the O’hare Airport to pick up our new baby brother. It was St Patrick’s Day and the traffic around Chicago was awful. We took turns filling out the pads of puzzles and games, until the sun set, then fidgeted anxiously the rest of the way.

Upon arriving at the airport, we found that we were late, the rest of the adoption group was already at the gate and the plane was landing. Running through the giant halls dragging my sister and trying to see ahead, I was laughing out loud. The airport was packed with holiday wanderers in all sorts of emerald and gold. We ran behind my dad, working ever closer to the gate. We arrived and immediately began to get out the stuffed animals, rattles, and blankets we brought. Trinkets to shower this toddler with. No Sooner had we sat down, than the door of the gangway popped open and two pilots walked out. I settled back into my seat expecting to be disappointed a couple of more times, when a stocky little Korean child came running out of the door, naked, laughing his head off while being chased by three stewardesses. One leapt forward, grabbing him under the armpits, and handing him off to the second. She swaddled him up into a first class blanket while number three turned to the crowd and said, “Cramer family?”

That’s how I met my younger brother, laughing, naked, and making a scene. This was indicative of the next thirty years, so to celebrate we take off work every year, head to an airport bar, and watch for other great meetings. Cheers!

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