As I mentioned a couple weeks ago on this blog, I had a trip to DC coming up. It was a birthday gift from Kate. Well, it was an awesome trip and I will share about some of it soon, but I want to write about the day I left for DC.
I had been thinking for over a month about what it would be like to say goodbye to London at the airport. Since she was born almost sixteen months ago, I had never been more than an hour’s drive away from her. I had spent one night away from her, but that taking place in the same city. So, when we got to the airport I was saying goodbye to more than just London.
Since her instant, premature arrival, I have been tied to London like nothing before in my life. She took the breath out of me when I stood up and looked at her being pulled from her mom in the OR. Since then she has had it. I wished time and time again over those first ten months of oxygen support I could have given her more of my breath. Instead, I gave what I could, my constant attention, worry, and commitment to making her as happy as possible with meticulous mental note taking of her every need. For, 469 days, London had been within reach. Was I in control for one of them? No, but at least I was there. I knew I was saying goodbye to that streak, the first, long season of fatherhood.
When I arrived at the airport with my mom and London, I had to face the end of an era, so to speak. I had prepared myself and worried about it as much as possible. I still cried though. I leaned in to kiss her perfectly soft cheeks and could not leave without taking another picture of her. In that picture, she appears to be a little confused, possibly from my tears, but as beautiful as ever. I looked at it more than once while I was in DC. And more than once, I thought of our next hello.