My Son the Mimbo

Okay. I’ve said it. My 20-year old son is a mimbo — a male bimbo. He had to catch a 6:15 a.m. flight this morning. I was ready and waiting at 4:30 a.m. So, what does he do at 4:30? He takes a shower. Thirty-minutes later, he’s ready to go; we arrived at the airport twenty-minutes before boarding. I dropped him off at the terminal, told him to call me if he needed me, and took a drive around the airport to kill time. Instead, time killed me. It was 5:50 a.m.

As I drove past an airport building, my cell phone rang. “I’m at the kiosk, but I forgot to bring my flight information.” While my blood pressure accelerated like a 747 down a runway, I screamed, “Go to the counter and check in. I’m going to park, and I’ll meet you there.” I’m sure he wasn’t thrilled about the “meet you there” part.

I hit the gas, took a right toward the parking lot, and screeched to a stop in the first space I found. While I raced toward the terminal, the sun rose above it casting a shadow over me as I entered the building.

Two escalators down later, I arrived in the middle of a throng of bleary-eyed travelers, and headed for the counter where my son was engaged in conversation with a female desk attendant. Both son and said attendant had a worried look on their faces. “Is there a problem? ” I called out while approaching the counter. Does a bear . . . ?

“He missed the flight,” replied the woman.

My son stuffed a hand into each pocket, and shuffled his feet, as his knapsack flopped up and down on his back.

“Isn’t there anything that can be done?”

“I called ahead,” said the woman. “They told me the flight was closed.”

I glared at my son thinking, he showered at 4:30 a.m.; he showered at 4:30 a.m. To shut off the echo in my head, I looked at my watch. It said 5:55 a.m. The flight was due to leave at 6:15 a.m. “Isn’t there any thing that can be done?” I repeated.

“The next flight leaves at 9 a.m.,” she said, then left the counter, and disappeared off into airport land.

I turned to my son and began lecturing him on the importance of not taking a shower at the same time you’re supposed to leave the house. I could tell by his clenched jaw and throbbing vein in his neck that he really appreciated my input.

As I was about to launch into another tirade, the woman suddenly appeared behind the counter with a look of panic on her face and blurted, “Run!” In my head I heard Run. Forest Run.

So we ran, the three of us, in perfect synchronized form, one behind the next, through the terminal, snaking in and out of shoulder-to-shoulder traffic until we reached the security line that jutted out into the arrival area.

The desk attendant approached the security desk and began to explain the situation to the officer, a large burly man, as I lagged behind and my son got on line. After a minute of wild hand gesticulations and lip gyrations, my son was flagged through the first line, only to find that he had to get onto another line to take off his shoes and dump his large backpack into a small plastic bin on a conveyor belt before being zapped by the body scan. Once he was through, several people ahead of my son parted to let him pass in a red sea sort of way.

There was nothing more I could do but watch him clear security and continue running in socks toward the gate, with a sneaker in each hand, as his backpack bobbed against his back.

I took a deep breath, checked my pulse, and went back to the counter to thank the desk attendant. “I had to do it,” she said. “If I didn’t get him through, I would have gotten in trouble.” It was a long convoluted “you’re welcome,” but a “you’re welcome” still the same. I nodded and left the building with thoughts of his return flight breakdancing in my head.

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