We strode through the airport hand in hand. Me in a slow stroll, backwards cap covering disheveled hair, droopy eyed and sleepy minded. Holden was in a bouncing jog urging me along, rocking his favorite sunglasses, baseball backpack and styled curly locks atop his head, unaffected by a weekend full of sleep deprivation.
He treated the space between gates as his personal red carpet - grinning wide, waving and offering a "hello" to anyone who would listen. One by one, perfect strangers, looked up from what they were doing, smiled and waved back. My heart was awakened. Funny how a two and a half year old can do that.
On the ride home, we played our favorite new ABCs game. Instead of each letter representing a thing, in true Holden fashion they represent his favorite people.
"P is for..." I say. "P is for papa!" He exclaimed.
"B is for Brody!" "G is for Gigi!" "M is for mama!" "D is for daddy!" He colors the alphabet with those he loves. He teaches me everyday to make others smile and to hold your people close.
I give him one last letter. "H is for..." "H is for Holden!" That's right, buddy. My favorite H.