We woke up earlier than usual this morning so we could take Diana to the airport. Beth decided to stay home but she did come upstairs to tell her goodbye. (Isolation ended this morning!)
SeaTac Airport is about 40 minutes from our house and Diana needed to be there 3 hours early because it's an international flight. Traffic was heavy but we were able to use the carpool lanes, I'm so glad Chuck was driving!
He dropped us off, then went to get gas. I always like to get out and walk with her into the airport. We went up to the counter and she printed her own tickets from the kiosk. She had a small bag but decided to check it. She didn't want to carry it through the airports and I can't say I blame her. It only weighed 16 pounds, but it felt more like 30!
We stopped at a store to look at some magazines. She didn't bring anything to read but ended up not buying a magazine either. It's so hard to get her to spend money. She'll find something that she likes, something that's she's wanted for a long time and has saved enough money to buy, but then goes home and thinks about it for a week or two. Finally decides to buy it; goes back to the store and will ask me, "Do you think I should?"
Just before we got to the security check point, I took her aside and we prayed. For safety, for peace of mind and for God's protection to be around her. We found the entrance to the line, and I stood back and watched as she got closer to the metal detectors.
She took off her coat, took her laptop out of her purse, removed her shoes... you know the drill. She stepped through the detector... and it was quiet. She went to the conveyor belt to get her shoes, purse and jacket, then turned around to look at me. I was quite a few yards behind her, behind all the people in line, behind the security guards directing the long line of people, but we had a straight view of each other.
She raised her hand and waved. I waved back... and that's when I started to cry.
Have you seen the movie Ever After with Drew Barrymore? (It's a retelling of Cinderella.) There's a scene at the beginning where her dad is leaving and he gets to the end of the driveway. Everyone else is going back inside but Danielle says, "Wait! It's tradition! He always waves at the gate." Danielle continues the tradition as she grows up.
And that's what I thought of this morning as she turned around and found me through that crowd. It wasn't the official gate to her plane, but it was close enough. This is her 5th trip by herself and it really has become tradition for us.
She always waves at the gate.