Airport Crier

I am an airport crier. If you are an airport crier, you already know what this means. For the rest of you allow me to explain.

The Phyllis DeMarco Dictionary describes an “airport crier” as being a person who watches people interact at the airport as they either bid farewell or reunite, and cries right along with them. In fact, the crier may cry even if the other people involved do not.

Elaborating further, it goes like this.

You get to the airport an hour earlier than your kid is supposed to arrive only to find that the plane is delayed and will be arriving 30 minutes later. You should have checked before you left the house, but you didn’t because you’re just so darn excited to see your kid. Now, you have 90 minutes of either playing games on your phone, stalking on social media, or perhaps reading on your Kindle app. However, with the hustle and bustle all around you, it’s hard to concentrate so instead you focus on the people. All sorts of people.

You watch them as they deplane, most of the young girls with messy buns and comfy leggings, the older women dressed a bit more refined in their “traveling clothes,” the young guys casual with their backpacks slung over their shoulders, the older men simultaneously wheeling and carrying bags. It’s very entertaining, especially when people break out of the typical mode and their uniqueness rivets your attention until they’re completely out of sight. Don’t make me explain this further.

But then you see it. The people waiting to greet their families and friends and you watch the moms throw their arms around their children, hugging them close, kissing their cheeks, grabbing their hands, while simultaneously laughing and crying. And that’s when the airport crier rears its moist, scrunched up face. You’re just so happy for them all, knowing how it feels for you and your loved ones that you just can’t stop yourself from crying with joy even though it’s really their joy.

And then there are the people who walk their loved ones as far as they can before they reach security. These people have to say goodbye and you watch as the moms throw their arms around their children, hugging them close, kissing their cheeks, grabbing their hands, not really laughing this time, but trying to smile as tears stream down their faces. The fathers shake hands and try to remain stoic, but it’s tough. They’re struggling. So you cry for them, because you know how it feels to say goodbye to your loved ones and you can’t stop yourself from crying with sadness, even though it’s really their sadness.

I won’t even go into the loving couples who have to say goodbye to each other or reunite since the result is the same. Being the airport crier that you are, you will undoubtedly cry.

And so there you have it. You’re either one of us or you’re not.

Oh, and don't let me forget to say that by the time your kid arrives, you have cried so much for everyone else, you can hold it together surprisingly well, kicking the pending goodbye lurking in the back of your mind deep down and away for now.

I’ll be traveling soon to see my youngest son so I’ll make sure to bring plenty of tissues.