As I settle into my seat, I hear one of them say, “…a surprise visit to my grands and great-grands. I have 13 great-grandchildren and 9 grandchildren!”
“Oh my!” exclaims her seat partner, “I’ve got 13 grandchildren and…” her voice is muffled by an overhead announcement and I can’t quite hear the rest. No great-grands, yet, I think.
I turn to my children who have already buckled in and opened their ipads in the row behind me. One holds my tea while the other gazes out the window. Once I’m secured, too, I retrieve my tea and try to listen in again.
“I won’t see them until tomorrow morning. They will be so surprised. I can’t wait to see their faces!”
Her companion nods her head in delighted agreement. The flight attendant’s voice breaks in. My older boy coughs loudly. “Oh my! That was really sweet of your children… that they are in a position to do that… lucky…”
And now a family of three arrives, their seats separate. I trade with the father who trades with the mother so that we end up with two sets of boys and moms. Everyone is content.
The plane takes off and I read for a while, then knit and listen to a podcast until laughter rings through the cabin. I look up and the two grandmas have their heads together. They are, frankly, cackling or maybe giggling like grandmas. “Oooh hoo hoo hoo!” “Ah-hahaha!” Their phones are out and they are scrolling. They snort and whoop. “So cute!” one exclaims. “Would you look at that!” crows the other
Brown head leans towards blonde, then away. My own seat companion has said not a word – first immersed in his game, now asleep. Across the aisle, my boys play a game together. In front of them, the mother and son watch a movie together. And in front of me a middle-aged man snores loudly. Over and around it all, the grandmas talk and laugh. They just met today, and they may never see each other again, but they are spending this hour and a half in joyous companionship.
May we all laugh so loudly and talk so happily this holiday season. May all our travels be as fun as theirs. Happy Holidays!