Many years ago when I was new to TBE, I found myself alone and frightened in the Buffalo airport. A family medical crisis had brought me there. While waiting in line to board the flight back to Boston, I saw a familiar face. He smiled at me and said, “You are from TBE.” Those four words took me from fear and sadness to calm and confidence. “Things will turn out ok,” I thought. “You are from TBE” made it so.
This was my introduction to what I call TBE moments. These are not those moments of holiness and grace that I feel so often when I am at TBE. They are, instead, the times when I am “out in the world” and something reminds me of what it means to me to be “from TBE.”
I had a TBE moment at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) during a monthly event called “Playmates” for toddlers. This delightful program invites young “friends” to bring their “grown-up” to a gallery. Then comes a rendition of “the paintings on the wall say please don’t touch” and the focus turns to art.
On my MFA TBE moment day, I was at Playmates with my 2-year-old grandson, Wiley. We had been to the program before and he had enjoyed it. However, things were different this time around. Wiley cried from the moment the program began until the moment it ended and then, when it was time to leave, he wanted to stay. As I made my frazzled way across the atrium with him, I once again came upon a familiar face. He didn’t have to say anything as his warm smile said it all. “We are both from TBE. It’s OK.”