Well, it turns out that traveling to State Famous for the Potato takes a very long time. I swear, I was on the airplane for about 600 hours. I am only exaggerating a little. The good thing is that the woman sitting next to me was traveling with a six-month-old baby. Yes, this young mother was trapped, a captive audience who had no choice but to listen while I gave unsolicited advice on everything from breastfeeding to Barbie dolls. I do so love to give advice.
And of course, I got to play with the baby. We spent the time passing him back and forth, dangling toys in front of his face to entertain him, singing to him and talking to him, and holding him across our laps to change his diaper. We did all kinds of silly things to make him happy: he had the cutest smile. Young Mother with Lovely Freckles kept saying, "Oh, I'm so glad I am next to someone who doesn't get weirded out when I breastfeed." That led me to regale her with stories of all the places I've breastfed babies: the bleacher seats in a baseball stadium rank right up there with airplanes as not very convenient for nursing an infant.
Young Mother With Freckles was traveling to visit her parents, who were eager to have a long visit with their grandson. Her husband, the father of the baby, is serving a tour of duty in the Middle East. "He was in the national guard," Young Mother said. "He wasn't supposed to be deployed." He has only seen his baby once.
In the baggage area, Young With Freckles had a happy reunion with her parents, who seemed thrilled to see the baby. I was still waiting for my luggage (fruitlessly, it turned out) when it was time for her to leave. She came over to say, "I'm so glad I got to sit next to you" just as I was saying the same thing to her, and we hugged before parting ways.