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Doc McStuffins and me rocking the St. Pete airport

On my recent trip to North Carolina for my daughter’s birthday, I carried a bag that my granddaughter left at my house. I overstuffed four days of clothes, four mini-purses filled with gummy candy, and my journal into the pink, Doc McStuffins rolling suitcase.

The entire front shone with the Doc in a white doctor’s coat, brown hair in braids that swung out in an imaginary breeze, a purple headband while holding a white lamb with a pink scarf. Her cocoa face smiled with confidence. This was going to be a good trip.

When my friend arrived to take me to the airport, she laughed and grabbed her phone to capture the moment. “Oh we need a picture of this!” she chuckled. I am five foot seven; the luggage barely reached my knees. I told her I was traveling with my inner-child and we were quite happy.

I have a strange obsession. I am fascinated with luggage at the airport. I’m especially drawn to the neon lime green. I can’t figure out why people tie a scarf on the handles. You can’t possibly miss that bag as it passes by on the luggage belt. I also covet the spinning bags that move with just a finger’s touch. It’s like magic! While I usually drag mine behind me, like an unruly two-year-old, this piece is in-tune with the carrier. With a finger tip change of pressure, it automatically adjusts to the direction needed.

My other favorite that almost makes me salivate is the three-bag-spinning-easy-roll luggage. One large bag holds two other bags, piggyback style. This actually reminds me of those early years when I was the one spinning with two little ones on my back. Trust me, the suitcase handles it much better than I ever did. Thus, my fascination has graded this #1 luggage choice. I have deep respect for this one.

Most people at the airport in my age range, infant geriatrics, pulled the darker-colored, spinning luggage. It gave a sophisticated look. When I strolled up to the security line, I was the brightest 64-year-old in the entire line. My Doc McStuffins luggage created a stir as we weaved through the serpentine line. One little girl poked her Mom, “Look at that lady. She has Doc McStuffins. I’m going to ask Daddy to get one for you.” The woman didn’t look very thrilled.

A woman introduced herself as Sharron on our second passing in the curvy line and commented, “I love your bag.” Her husband Dave was quick to remark, “Very nice!” I smiled and said, “My inner child is screaming today.” We laughed as I told them my granddaughter needed her bag back.

“I’ll be writing a story about this and I’ll add your names,” I told them. (Hi guys! I hope you see this.) The young man behind me chuckled when he got a full view of Doc McStuffins. I turned and said, “I know! It’s beautiful, right?”

“I’ve never seen one of those. It’s pretty unique,” he said, grinning. I smiled proudly at the colorful chicklet size bag at my knees. “It is a very special bag for one sweet 5-year-old little girl.”

He’d heard me mention my Inner Child and now he was totally confused. “Who’s five? Your inner child? What does that mean anyway?”

Fortunately, we were ready to pass through the security detector and I left him wondering.

Doc McStuffins had transformed my routine airport experience into a comical morning. On her TV series, she recommends an apple a day to stay healthy.

But today, all I needed was a mini, pink, rolling suitcase with the Doc’s big bright self on the front. This day, I realized that laughter is the best medicine.

My inner child is still giggling.

— Anne Bardsley

Anne Bardsley lives in St Petersburg, Florida, with her “wrinkle maker” of a husband and two spoiled cockatoos. She’s still recovering from raising five children. She is so happy she didn’t strangle them as teenagers as they’ve given her beautiful grandchildren. She is the author of How I Earned My Wrinkles: Musings on Marriage, Motherhood and Menopause. Her latest book, Angel Bumps, will be published by Mill House Publishing this spring. She blogs at www.annebardsley.com.

Reflections of Erma