As the plane doors were flung open it immediately became one of those moments when I just didn’t want to blink in case I missed my family walking out – you know what I’m talking about, we’ve all been there no? And these were the days long before camera phones so there was no way for me to capture (and cherish) that moment in a photo. What hadn’t occurred to me was that the airline would let all the solo travellers off the plane first to clear the decks for families with small children so it almost seemed like ages since I’d blinked. My eyes were starting to feel like one of those nocturnal animals (bats?) that always seemed really wide eyed.
With the bright sun in my face I finally faltered, closed my eyes to rest them and then wiped the sweat from my face with a handkerchief. When I opened my eyes again I saw my little girl standing at the top of the steps looking up at the Rock in wonder. I burst into tears.
Almost instantly I morphed into (what must have looked like) a barking mad cheer leader frantically jumping up and down waving my arms in the air (while hanging on to my three teddy bears) in an effort to get my daughters attention but her eyes were glued to the beautiful Rock (and I loved that). I loved the idea that her eyes were full of the very same wonder that was in my own eyes the first time I saw Gibraltar and I knew it would make a lasting impression on her.
My ‘tribal rain dance’ (the one that was having absolutely no impact on my daughter whatsoever) came to an immediate halt the minute I saw Carol emerge from the plane holding Sam; almost immediately she came out she waved over at where I was standing and encouraged Tracey to do the same. I was a mess. I just stood there, bottom lip wobbling like a rubber dingy in a tidal wave and my arms stretched out like my #AngelOfTheNorth
(My parent website is at spailpinfanac.com )
Just reading back over this entry it isn’t difficult to pick up on how emotive things were and although I don’t profess to be a skilled writer (able to put things down poetically) I’m making no apologies for at least having a go at expressing how I felt. At the time of this event I was a young 21 year old working class Geordie boy, quite sexist and damaged from childhood experiences (you’re welcome at #memoirsofachildincare on my parent website spailpinfanac.com); and even though I probably appeared to be quite immature I literally couldn’t give a **** because I adored my family and didn’t care who knew it. (Having said that I did sense that local people watching quite admired my passion 🙂 )
Eventually after what seemed like forever Carol and the children came through the barrier and I just grabbed the lot of them as though everyone in the world wanted to take them away from me. For a time I just held Carols face and looked into her eyes giving her one of those Eskimo nose kisses without saying anything; I didn’t want some inane conversation spoiling such an intimate moment. After all the anxiety of waiting to be separated, then the actual separation, then the stress of finding flats, failing inspections and knowing it had been really hard for Carol I wasn’t having anything negative in our lives today. It was so lovely to think in terms of ‘our’ lives ‘today’ instead of the singular; it was real.
I picked up my daughter Tracey and looked at her beaming little smile. “Why are you crying Daddy?” she asked. “Because I love you darling” I said.
Absolutely loved today’s blog.
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Alan Dixon said:
Aw thank you Sandra. And now with my family with me our Gibraltar life could start ::)