Now first off I don’t want you thinking we are one of those “weird homeschool families” who have no idea about real life. Our kids are involved in activities, have friends, play, watch movies and the Broncos, and are fairly normal every day kids. However if you had seen them Friday night you may have thought that they lived very sheltered lives. I think really though it’s just that they are easily entertained and have fun with the simple things.
Friday night we had some friends from when we were first married who were bringing home their son from Korea. I decided to head to the airport to meet them. Leighton had gymnastics practice and Clint wasn’t feeling too great, so I loaded the other 4 up and we headed out after dinner. With the level of excitement in the van you would have thought that we were going on some grand adventure.
From the moment I pulled out of the driveway I was asked “Can you see the airport yet?”. They all giggled and laughed the entire trip down. A good 30-40 minutes later we could finally see the airport way off in the distance, and you would have thought that I was showing them the Grand Canyon or something. Then we got to where the toll road connects with the airport road and the road makes a huge almost 360 degree circle. From the giggles and shrieks in the back of the van I was pretty sure I was on the best roller coaster ever.
Of course because it was the Denver Airport there is a random large horse statue with orange vs red eyes that light up and quite frankly looks terrible. Somehow it has become the symbol of Denver and the airport. The kids were all excited about it (even though Paxton called it a dog-knowing the right animals is tough when you are just 3).
And then, clearly one of the highlights of the night, was that I got to drive the van into the parking garage. They were cheering and laughing in the back. The ramps up to the other levels brought even more cheers. And it’s not like we haven’t been in a parking garage before, the zoo has one, and they have been to the airport before, but on Friday it brought great cheers of joy.
Because it was 1 of me versus 4 of them (ages 3, 3, 5, and 6) I said that everyone had to hold a hand at all times. Somehow that got translated into we all need to hold hands so we made a very long line across walking through the parking garage. Luckily it was Friday night and not busy (clearly others do not know the excitement and entertainment value of an airport). There are a number of islands for people to wait between the parking lot and the entrance of the airport for different forms of transportation. We walked (after stopping and checking for traffic) at each one all the way to the doors. I’m sure we made quite the scene walking as a long spread out line all holding hands. I of course managed to leave my phone in the van so I have no photos of any of this but I wasn’t about to turn our little train around to go get it.
We made it in the door and their eyes lit up as they saw the escalators. We came in on the right level for where our friends would arrive, but the bathrooms were up a level so we got to ride an escalator up. The grins on their faces as we rode up one level were huge. And to top off the excitement the bathrooms had automatic hand blowers, which they have all seen before and used, but Friday night they acted like they were the best thing in the world. In a line we headed back to the escalators to head down and a security guard looked at us and told us “Um mam, I’d take the elevator”. I told her, “uh, no thanks, they have been looking forward to this”. Coppélia literally laughed the whole ride down the escalator and clapped her hands. I would have loved to be in front of the 4 of them just to see the grins on their faces.
Our friends arrived and we gave hugs and high fives and then they all begged to ride the escalators some more. So we made 4 or 5 more round trips up and down the escalators, using our walking feet to get between the drop off of one and the start of the other. On our last trip down, the cranky security guard said “Mam, this needs to be over, these are not toys”. I am fully aware that they are not toys, we waited till there were no people around and then carefully loaded and unloaded each one, stayed out of people’s way, and the kids followed my directions to a T. They held on the the side rails and just smiled and giggled with each trip up or down…but whatever security guard, we are just having a little fun in a simple way and you could see the joy of the kids in it or you can be crabby. So we all held hands again and headed back out to the parking lot.
The trip home was quieter, it was dark outside and past their bedtime, but as we drove before any of them nodded off, we could see some fireworks going off in Denver which just kind of added to the magical evening. Sure glad that we got to welcome our friends and their little boy home, but even more thankful for the memories and laughs and giggles from the simple things that most people just ignore every day.