On the flight from LaGuardia to Chicago, mom and I bookended (with out insistence on window seats) a family of four headed to Alabama. The mom was about 35 and really laid back and friendly, telling me about the job she hates working on the production line at a JVC factory in Tuscaloosa. She travelled with her silent but dutiful 17 year old son, her polite and soft spoken 9 year old daughter and her precocious and hilarious 4 year old, Kaneesha, seated next to me.
I was focused on my iPod and Vanity Fair article about the Anne Bass home invasion when Kaneesha tapped my knee.
Oh shit. I gotta talk to a kid.
"What you listening to?"
"Your ears are too little."
I plugged her little ears with my totally tainted and used earphones.
"You got 'You just don't know about me'?
Oh. Hell. Yes.
"You mean "Irreplaceable'? The Beyonce song?"
Which is how I came to share my earphones with a 4 year old from Tuscaloosa. We harmonized OUT LOUD to the Beyonce hit, 'Irreplaceable.' We then moved on to Gwen Stefani's 'Sweet Escape.'
"Woo Hoo. Wee Hoo."
Kaneesha played with my hair. Kaneesha sat on my lap. Kaneesha learned about Vanity Fair and designer handbags.
And as we got ready to land in Chicago, Kaneesha looked up at me and asked, "You comin' with us?"
"No." Her mother answered. "She's going to California."
"You can't come with us?" Huge brown eyes stared me down.
"Nope, sweetpea. I wish I could."
And with that, Kaneesha patted my knee.
"I'm fixin' to miss you."
Oh shit. I think I like a kid...