So, this happened.
The ladies' room was busy but quiet, as quiet as a ladies' room in an airport can be. I was in a stall, having just locked the door. In the silence, I heard the unmistakable tearing of paper from a hygiene product coming from an adjoining stall.
Then this: A little girl's excited voice: "Mommy, that lady has candy!"
Then from her mother in the stall with her: "No, sweetheart, she does not have candy. And let's keep our voices down."
In a loud voice: "Mommy, she has CANDY. I heard her open the candy. (Then in a loud whisper.) She's eating candy in the BATHROOM."
Light laughter comes from the stalls around us.
"Honey, I promise she is not eating candy in the bathroom. When you're older I'll explain."
The little girl wasn't letting this go. "Why is she eating candy in the potty? I want some candy too."
"Baby, she doesn't have candy. During the month there comes a moment that mommy and other ladies have a special time and that wrapper you heard is helping her with her special time. OK? (pause) Don't open the door yet!"
"I'd like some candy, mommy. I'm having a special time."
Then from another stall, a woman's voice, almost musing to herself. "I'd like some candy too."
In that moment, tears ran down my cheeks I was laughing so hard. It was one of the most perfectly timed things ever said. I got myself together and opened the door to the stall at the same time the mother and daughter did. The little girl looked about four years-old. The mother gave us the "Yup, that's my kid" look.
We walked to the sinks and that's when we all saw it.
Resting on the edge of the vanity was one wrapped green apple Jolly Rancher. The little girl spotted it at the same time we all did. She looked up at her mother. "Mommy, look! Can I have it?" We all looked at the mom.
"Yes, yes. That nice lady must have left a gift for you."
"Or a fairy!" said the daughter.
I'm going with the rare and magical period fairy. I wonder if she can leave tequila and butterscotch?