I have a huge fondness for airport hellos. That’s a phrase I’ve coined that refers to the greetings one gives or receives at airports. Airport hellos certainly make my list of favorite things, as you can see by one of my Thanksgiving posts about things I’m grateful for:

giving thanks for airport hellos traditions and seasons

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about airport hellos.

A few assumptions can be made about the airport hello. First, the person who has traveled has gone to great effort to get to you. This must mean they love you. You probably love them, too, or you wouldn’t take the time to meet them at the airport. Second, you can assume that there has been a separation, whether it’s been a day or years. The third assumption would be that reuniting has been anticipated for some time. The person who shows up at the airport to greet you recognizes what a gift you are, and they want to soak up every moment of goodness that comes from seeing you.

Some of my favorite airport hellos have included four or five days in a row of people we love arriving for our wedding over twenty years ago. I felt loved back then, but now that I fully understand how big an effort it is to get a whole family across the country, I’m humbled. If you did this for us, thank you! It has stuck with me over all these years and I might be even more grateful now than I was back then. It was an amazing gift you gave us and I remember your presence more than I remember your presents. (For the record, I know that driving out of town to a wedding is a big effort, too, so thanks to all of you who drove as well.)

Some more airport hellos I’ve loved include the ones that happened when Brian would get back from a business trip when our kids were young. We would wait at the airport until his flight arrived, then as the kids spotted him walking through security they would run through the airport screaming “Daddy!” and leap into his arms. You can’t help but feel blessed when you are a part of this scene.

I love watching other people’s airport hellos almost as much as being a part of my own. Almost, but not quite. Seeing military personnel swarmed by family members as they clear the security gate is one of the coolest things ever. If you haven’t ever made it a point to observe other people’s airport hellos while you are at the airport, you should. It gives you a glimpse of the best of humanity. The joy that radiates from these people is contagious. You can practically feel the warmth from their greetings.

I’m reflecting on the airport hello today because I have an airport goodbye to get through this week. Our daughter is leaving for Spain. She is going to live with a family and be their au pair. She will get to travel while she is there and see a part of the world that is new to her. It’s an adventure she has dreamed about for a long time and our whole family is excited for her. The thing about airport hellos is that they are balanced out by airport goodbyes. You can’t have one without the other.  So, this week especially, I’m purposely focusing on the airport hello, and knowing that we will get one of these with our sweet girl when she gets home from her travels, filled with stories of new people and new places. Buen viaje, Maddie!

family photo

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3 Responses to Airport Hellos and Goodbyes

  1. Found you through Tatertots & Jello Weekend Wrap Party… I too love watching other people’s airports hello… I used to travel quite often and found myself getting teared up before my flights!!!lol!

  2. I love people watching all the time ;) Thanks for linking up in the Bowdabra Crafty Showcase! We love stopping in and checking out what is new over here. Check out the new linky! http://bowdabrablog.com/2013/08/10/bowdabra-crafty-showcase-with-housewarming-gift-ideas-66/

    Have a super week,
    Susie @Bowdabra

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