Today I am flying to California to see my family. My WHOLE family.   [Except for baby girl.. She has to stay on this coast.]  My flight was delayed 15 minutes, so I took the extra time to wander the terminal a bit, knowing I would be sitting for six hours.  I’m not worried about the time.  Jetblue tends to arrive earlier than scheduled, and I know my husband will be waiting for me.

Boston Logan

I went to use the restroom as a preemptive measure (who really likes making all your row mates get up just so you can piddle?) and as I entered, there was a lovely woman sitting on the floor by the sink, crying.  A woman who was wearing her own baby in a carrier was taking to the woman on the floor, who was pumping (to keep up her milk supply).

As I relieved myself, not meaning to eavesdrop, I couldn’t help overhearing their conversation.  The sitting mother was crying because she had been away from her baby, and he had started to walk while she had been gone.   I imagine that one of the women in the bathroom had asked something like, “Oh, how old is your baby?” and she started crying, knowing that it was just the pump under her nursing cover, and her baby was far away from her.  All she wanted to do was see him again.  She wouldn’t even be home until 1:30 in the morning, she said, so he would be asleep when she got home.

And I felt helpless.  I tried to think of something to say to her.  I wanted to tell her that I knew a little bit how she felt, missing your baby so much that it hurts.  I wanted to tell her that I would pray for a safe and quick flight, to speed her to her baby’s arms.  But as I washed my hands and listened to other women asking “How old is your baby?” (10 months) and “How long have you been away?” (a week or a few weeks?), I couldn’t think of anything to say. Nothing.

There was even a woman who said “Well, just focus on when you get to see him. That will make you feel better!” and I knew in my heart that what she said wasn’t true.  There was nothing that would make this woman, who missed her baby more with every mechanical suck of the pump, feel better. Nothing but taking her baby in her arms and kissing his face.  I felt woefully inadequate.  What could I say?

I picked up my bags and left the restroom, with the sitting mother still sniffling her way through all the answers these well-meaning woman solicited.

As I walked slowly back to my gate, all I wanted to do was sit on the floor with that woman, put my arms around her, and cry with her.  I miss my baby, too.

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