It’s nice to come home

I stood at the top of the stairs at Eisenhower National Airport awaiting the arrival of two very dear people. It wasn’t enough to wait in the cell phone lot; I wanted to be there to greet them off the plane at my very first opportunity.

As passengers filed past me and down the escalator to the baggage claim, I wondered where each one of them had been and where they were going. Was Wichita their final destination? Were they here on business? I ventured to guess not many of them were here for vacation, but I could be wrong about that.

I took particular interest in the carry-on bags each passenger carried, as I was, at the time, in the market for a new piece of luggage myself. I’m not sure if anyone else has taken the time to research carry-on dimension recommendations, but I was perplexed to find many different sizes of suitcases—all labeled “carry-on”—that did not adhere to the 22x14x9 rule I intend to abide by. (Did I take a measuring tape to the store to inspect potential purchases? Yes. Yes I did. That’s how much I wanted to avoid a potential embarrassing encounter at the ticket counter telling me No you cannot carry on that bag.)

As I waited, I observed the others who were standing and waiting for arriving passengers. My imagination ran wild as I wondered who would come around the corner and make each face light up. Would it be a friend? A family member? Someone else? The reunions were fun to watch.

I was especially intrigued by a man in front of me who stood as close to the restricted area as possible. I could almost sense his eager anticipation and could only wonder who he was waiting for.

Soon it was obvious. A young boy appeared around the corner and immediately ran toward the man’s open arms.

It was a sweet moment between a father and son, or at least that’s the story as I imagined it.

I think back to my own vacations this summer. I flew on eight different airplanes, and while I absolutely love vacationing, it’s always nice to come home, where I no longer need to live out of a suitcase or carry my travel-size bottle of shampoo to the shower in each place I stay or limit myself to the stash of chocolate I manage to pack inside my suitcase.

Home is comfortable. Home is safe. It’s where we’re meant to be.

Seeing that boy at the airport represented a sweet homecoming and was an odd comfort to me. His arrival at the end of his journey brought a warm embrace and a loving word from his father. When a trip is done, it’s always nice to come home.

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