I got to the gate safely, thankful that my taxi driver didn’t end up being a psychopath killer since he wore fingerless gloves. I don’t trust anyone, besides Madonna, who wears fingerless gloves (and only her during the Lucky Star period.)
Reflexively, I checked my smartphone, which I do every 4.5 seconds exactly when not actively moving.
In my inbox, was an email from The Husband sent just minutes ago. A sweet email describing how Elise and Luke were playing, making play-doh birthday cakes at home, using crayons as candles.
That’s when it hit me.
I’m going straight to Mommy Prison.
I’m traveling on Elise’s 5th birthday. *ducking flying tomatoes*
I looked around, guiltily, as if everyone knew my mommy crimes by virtue of gate osmosis.
I had to call home and wish her Happy Birthday. But not here. Not so public. Not with my future co-passengers who could corner me on the plane and flush me down the airplane toilet with that suspicious blue liquid.
I moved to a less-populated gate area and dialed.
The Husband answered, surprisingly cheery after spending the last few days as a single parent and apparently handling it much better than I usually do (I’m usually insane-mute by this point.)
He put me on speakerphone.
“Happy birthday, Elise! I wish I could be there today, but I hope it’s a great day!”
She sounded happy and excited to tell me all about her plans for the day. She didn’t sound like she missed me, or was heartbroken at all that I wasn’t able to be home today, due to an unfortunate string of work travel.
I was glad. Not really. Yes, I was. But, you know.
As we finished up the call, I imagined a uniformed officer might briskly walk over to me, swing my hands behind my back and slap on some cuffs, delivering me straight to my cell, only adorned by a cot, a sink and a Dora the Explorer potty chair.
And even when no officer came, I did the perp walk back to my gate, all the same.