That First Goodbye

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.

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A quick snap of London after saying goodbye at the airport.

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.

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2 thoughts on “That First Goodbye

  1. Just where are you going, Dad? And then when she saw and heard you on the phone to which you responded, “Daddy has disappeared into the phone for a couple of days.” The things children have to absorb!

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