After delayed flights and a long day I was back to Birmingham. We all gathered around baggage claim, each hoping the successful arrival of our suitcase would mark the end of the journey.
I always enjoy looking around in those moments before the alarm sounds and the conveyor belt starts churning bags out. You see all sorts of people in various states of mind. Who knows what it took for them to get here.
Standing next to me was a mom and her three children, one of which was probably about two years old. With every bag that magically appeared in front of this child he yelled as if each one were a gift arriving just for him.
It was a super high-pitched, energetic squeal every three to five seconds for about five minutes total. The mom tried to quiet him to no avail. You can imagine the reactions of the surrounding travelers were diverse.
I recall one trip I took years ago that involved a one-hour bus ride, a fifteen-hour overnight train ride, a night sleeping on a house boat, a twelve-hour flight, a night sleeping in the Chicago airport, and two more connection flights to Birmingham. I was a little weary by the time I arrived at that final baggage claim.
I say that to say, I get it. But...
There were people who were visibly annoyed or bothered by this situation. In that moment, they couldn’t see how adorable this kid was. They couldn’t see how hilarious this whole scene was becoming. They couldn’t see the mom who was struggling.
It’s just so easy to lose our awareness when we’re tired, hungry, hurting. And it happens so quickly. I guess in that moment I was just lucky enough to be on the positive side of perspective. It was a good reminder for every feeling of annoyance to be a simple self-check, “What am I not seeing?”