It’s 7:15 in the morning, and I’m sitting at the Orlando International Airport, having breakfast waiting for my flight to Albany, NY, after a four-day business trip. 

 I see a little kid; he is less than two years old, with brown blondish hair, wearing shorts and a t-shirt you expect to find anywhere close to Disney. 

He is a manager.  He commands his dad with the authority of a leader without using words as his dad follows him just like a puppy. His mother is at one of the food stores in line to get food for the family.  This young explorer wanders through the food court as he had lived there before, connecting with strangers and rearranging some of the chairs he is strong enough to move.

panda printed paper coffee cup on table

I watched this spectacle for longer than it takes to enjoy a cup of morning coffee and an Egg McMuffin.

It reminds me of my oldest daughter Erica. She talked to “almost” all strangers when she was at that age.  She sensed the energy of troubled people and men with long beards, so Santa didn’t make it to her greeting list.  She used to wander through stores, churches, restaurants, and airplanes. 

At that moment, I was compelled to get up from my quiet and comfort zone and tell his parents that their son is very curious and takes risks beyond his age, and I had one of those. Mainly, I wanted to tell them that these behaviors are a sign of high intelligence and that no one prepares parents to raise a brilliant child. Tight your seatbelts because it’s going to be a wild ride.

mother and son riding a twist car

Then, I hold myself back with two thoughts:

One, “No one prepared me for motherhood.” The parenthood manual must have been lost in The Titanic, and Steven Spielberg didn’t find it.  Plus, I learned with time, patience, and God each day.  God sent me a great teacher, my daughter, who demanded full participation. And I am pretty sure their teacher was already giving them lessons.

And two, I got to remind my child, now almost 27 years old, “how lucky I am to have had a great teacher.”  And my wish for her is that she has my curse to be blessed with a great daughter.

I got up, went to my gate, and wished them in silence a great journey as great as mine.

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