On my flight from Charlotte to Tampa, I sat down – so happy to have a seat that I actually had leg room in, and head room for that matter (try being 6 feet tall and flying on a puddle jumper – no bueno). I turned on my music and was texting Laura when I was greeted by a little girl, probably 8 years old with a big grin and a happy “Hello!!!”. She plopped down, big smile across her face, buckled herself in, and sat back and stared out the window. I said “Are you going to Florida for Christmas?”
She looked at me… a bit confused… then looked to her mother who repeated what I said to her in Spanish. AH! She doesn’t speak english! Her mother finished speaking to her, gave her a little nudge and said “it’s ok!” and she turned to me and said (in broken english) “Hello, my name it is Melanie, and how about yours?” I said “It’s nice to meet you Melanie, my name is Annalee!”.
Her mother leaned back over and said, “if you speak slowly, she can talk to you! We are teaching her English in school, and I am learning too.”
We continued to talk, she corrected my Spanglish, and I helped with her english. “Como se dice” started most of what we said. When she said “I”, she pointed to herself, and when she said “you” she pointed to me – I could tell she was learning English the same way I started to learn Spanish. I learned that Melanie lives in Cancun, with her mom. They were visiting family in NC and were heading home. She is in the 4th grade, and thought that all the clouds looked so pretty! She likes the ocean, and thinks its neat that I live near the ocean in NC.
When we landed, she jumped up, turned around and said “Nice to see you Anna. Merry Christmas!”
I said “Merry Christmas” and her mother waved and smiled. Such a lovely family! I got down to baggage claim and as I walked to pick up my bag, they walked right past me out the doors and she turned back and waved again – big old smile still plastered all over her face!
This all made me smile. Every bit of it. She was SO happy to be flying and with her mom, and was excited to practice her English. Her smile just lit up my night – even while I dealt with lost carry-ons. Yes carry-ons.
The innocence of a child who thinks seeing the clouds is the coolest thing in the world – what a kid.
Now we wait here in Tampa, while the rest of the family catches up from Atlanta!