You left again today.
You snuck out of bed before the sun broke through the morning sky. You crept into the bedrooms and kissed our kids goodbye. You held me tight one last time before your long journey began.
While you check your luggage, we are waking up. I am given kisses and morning snuggles. I know you are trying not to be annoyed by the lineup at security.
By the time we eat breakfast, read and reread Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb, and build a farm on Minecraft, you are closing your eyes thirty thousand feet above us, never drifting off to sleep because you are thinking too much again. You should stop twirling your hair. Rest while you can.
Your first connection is at lunch time. You eat hurriedly at a bustling restaurant where too many voices in too many languages make it hard to concentrate. You want to call to say “Hi,” but the noise is overwhelming, so you text me instead.
We are blowing bubbles in the backyard. The serenity is overwhelming.
The next thirteen hours are the longest. You are flying away from us, further apart than we have ever been, and though I know you are watching movies, reading, and sleeping in spurts it is hard for me not to project some of my own fear of flying onto your voyage. I keep myself occupied cleaning and organizing; chasing our daughter around the rink as our son finally learns to shave the ice in an abrupt stop; I cook supper; read again; bathe the kids and sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” for the tenth time today. I can forget about how long you will sit on the aisle seat of the emergency exit long enough to get the kids to bed, but when I am alone, as alone as you
have been all day, the worry returns and I pretend you are reassuring me from above the Pacific.
It is already tomorrow where you are. We are no longer in sync, and I know that when I do hear from you it will be a brief phone call in the seconds before you catch some rest, readying yourself for the last leg of your travels. Another lonely midnight flight as the sun breaks through my morning window and I am showered with a toddler’s snuggles once again.
I am ashamed that I am lonely, even though I have these little arms to wrap around my neck; that I fleetingly begrudge your descent into Europe; that I envy the way your career is taking off.
But then I shrug.
I breathe like you always tell me to.
And I realize none of that is true.
I am not lonely, I am lonely for you. Your Europe of metal and oil is a harsh antithesis to my Europe of art and culture. Your career is what allows me be the best mommy I can be. The best daddy I can be, too. My turn will come, whenever I am ready, you will see to that when I start to worry and waiver.
I have no cause to be lonesome. I am not cramped in a small seat for hours at a time surrounded by a culture to which I do not belong. I am not on the other side of the world away from the people I love (the food I love, too!). I am not bounced from shop to rig, sleeping in hard bunks to the hum of twelve men’s snores. I am not alone on a massive tin can straddling the currents in the middle of a sea.
But I am lonely for you, and no matter how many miles are mapped out between us we are still in sync; even if you are in the future of the meridian and I am still in the past. In a month you will travel back in time to be with me again.
Eventually will you fly once more. Thirteen new hours (and then some) in the sky while we go to school, the rink and the pool, clutch snowmen stuffies, celebrate milestones, blog, and cuddle.
In 38 days you will creep through the darkness of our sleeping home, you will brush their cheeks with a kiss, then crawl into bed, wrap your arms around me and say, “Hey, Baby”.
You will be home again.
By Leigha Chiasson-Locke