When Shelley and I arrived in Seattle on our way back from Virginia, I was puddle of emotions. All the wonderful moments at BlogFest were swirling vividly with my imminent parting from Shelley and my urge to see TOG, the Brute Squad and the kids. I was playing it cool, but inside I was all ....GAH!

So as we get on the escalator going toward baggage claim and ticketing, I couldn't help but notice the gentleman in front us being video taped by another young man. The gentleman being videotaped was noticeable in his utter exhaustion. Thus when the videotaper asked "how was the flight", the single word answer "long" was no surprise.

About the same time, I noticed the exhausted gentleman had a baby carrier strapped to his chest, and a tiny child sleeping against him. As one of my co-workers had just adopted a child from Africa, I assumed that this was the same scenario. I nudged Shelley and I knew she was aware also as she was equally focused on the child and the rising murmur of voices as the escalator approached the next floor.

Before us unfolded one of the sweetest moments ever... A young woman broke away from the crowd, the videotaper faded back for a wide angle... The young woman is trying not to cry... and failing. The man with the carrier is unstrapping the baby as quickly as he can...

He pulls the sleeping child free and the woman cuddles the baby to her chest, tucking the dark head under her quivering chin and swaying gently. She's weeping openly now and the man is smiling through his exhaustion... people are quietly clapping and "oohing"...

I turned to Shelley and said "she just became a momma". And promptly started leaking tears.

It was the finishing crescendo on all the highs of emotions over the last few days. I felt so drained as I blotted my eyes in what I hope was an inconspicuous manner. I was (thankfully) able to say goodbye to Shelley without sobbing again although I think it was just because I was so wrung out.

I admit, that when I saw TOG pull up in my car and saw that he had thoughtfully brought Madeline (my little Chihuahua) to greet me, I understood that little piece of me... that mother/nurture/feed them until they pop-part. The one that lays dormant until you become a mother... the fierce protector, the instinctive cuddler, the compassionate observer, the encourager... I know I use that on Madeline because she's needy enough to require it. But I think I'd use it on any small, helpless creature in my vicinity.

Like the creature above who I was sweet talking while TOG was in the men's room. He didn't even have to ask what it was. He came out, heard me talking to the tree and said "where is it".

I'm totally looking forward to lavishing all my gooey skills on Ben. Poor little guy!

AG out!