Lately I find myself thinking about small stories from my past and wanting to tell them.
Tonight I've been thinking about December 2008 when I went to Thailand for two weeks. I went to spend some time with Father Joe Maier, a Catholic Priest in Bangkok who runs an orphanage called the Mercy Centre for abandoned and orphaned children with HIV/AIDS.
The flight time from Ottawa, Ontario to Bangkok, Thailand is about 20 hours, not including layover times, and I took four planes to get there.
My third flight was from Detroit, Michigan to Toyko, Japan and it was going to be 12 hours. I was in economy class and I was already tired. I just wanted to sleep the whole flight away. It was about to be the longest flight I'd ever taken and I wasn't sure how I was going to manage to sit in one seat for that long.
I was in a window seat in a row of three. A man took the aisle seat and I admit I was anxious to see who was going to be sitting beside me. It seemed a very long time before I found out.
It was a young woman with her three-year-old daughter! I had no idea a child that age could be booked to sit on your lap on a long flight like this.
As the plane loaded, all I can really say about that child is she was very bouncy. She was as excited as a little girl could be and everything about people boarding a plane and stowing their luggage was fun for her. But she actually screamed as she laughed at the things she was witnessing and I admit it was trying my patience.
I was full of judgment. And so were the passengers in the rows in front of us and behind us. I could hear them talking behind us about how much longer this flight was going to be with this screaming, hyper-active child. And the passengers in front took turns looking over the seats at us with pursed lips and frowned faces.