Next stop: Gotcha Day celebration on the light rail

Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of the day we met our younger son, so we told him he could plan his day. He took that role seriously.

Daniel had announced we were taking the light rail to Gettysburg, but the light rail doesn’t run to Gettysburg, and he didn’t want to drive.

Next he decided we would take the light rail to Glen Burnie, Md. Now John grew up in Glen Burnie, and we often drive through it on our way to other places. But I couldn’t figure out what exactly we would do in Glen Burnie once we got there.

So I suggested that we go to BWI Airport instead. I made a pretty decent sales pitch for it, explaining that at the airport we could see airplanes.

“OK,” Daniel said. “We will ride the light rail all the way to the airport and then we will fly on an airplane.”

Well…maybe he didn’t get to plan the whole day.

But we did board the light rail in Hunt Valley and make the long and fascinating ride to the end of the line at BWI airport.

We walked into the airport and almost immediately came across a recreation of an ancient vase from China.

We rode escalators and a glass elevator, visited the observation gallery, and watched airplanes take off and land.

Daniel wanted a hot dog, which sounded simple enough, but all we saw was a Dunkin Donuts and a Subway—both fine options, but not for our boys who don’t really eat sandwiches (and don’t eat donuts for lunch, even on Gotcha Days).

We found our way to a small-plates place in the observation gallery. It wasn’t child-friendly, so it seemed somehow appropriate that we would be there—especially since on our adoption trips we often ate in upscale restaurants in China that weren’t designed for children.

There is a small play area in the observation gallery, so we enjoyed that and learned that at the peak time during the day there are 19,000 planes in the air over the United States. I can’t begin to get my mind around that.

There are not 19,000 light rail rides, though, so we kept an eye on the schedule and caught one home just in time.

I thought the round-trip light rail ride was a little long for our boys, but Daniel didn’t think so. Of course, he rested for part of the trip.

Back at home we played and relaxed and watched Mighty Machines until dinnertime—Chinese food with candles stuck in dumplings and a round of “Happy Gotcha Day to You.”

More than a few times during the day we heard, “Well, it is my Gotcha Day…” as our honoree enjoyed the day he had planned for our family and tried to persuade me to order even more won ton soup for him. It wasn’t the day I would have organized myself, but it was absolutely perfect for him—and for us.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.