You wonder where the planes and people are going, and hope they get there safely. When they return, you hope the trip was what they thought it would be and that they are happy to come home.
This has been one of those eye-opening, life is moving forward type of weeks. Yesterday, Jack got his braces off. He came out to the waiting area to show me and for a moment, I was lost. I felt like time was moving so fast and I missed so much. I was tearing up and Jack just hugged me. After he went into the back to finish up, another dad turned to me and said, “It’s like watching planes take off and land”.
He explained how he viewed it: you watch our kids come and go like planes taking off and landing at the airport. So I thought about his words and here’s my take:
Our kids come in and out of our daily lives beginning with small short trips. Their first overnight, an away basketball game or maybe a school trip to Boston or Washington, DC. They return with stories and a sense of maturity, confidence and growth. Sometimes they share those feelings, most times not. It’s ok.
Then the trips get longer. A week at a basketball camp, her freshman year in college three hours away or a foreign exchange to Germany. Now, there is more skin in the game and the kids rise to the challenge of being away on that longer trip. They share the stories and laugh with you. You may even get a text or two along the way!
Soon, we will be making the trip, me and Chip. Amelia and Jack will be the ones watching us take off and land, God willing for a very long time. That kind of scares me but it is inevitable. I miss Amelia. I don’t always tell her because I don’t want to make her feel bad. She is kind and beautiful; funny and smart. She is about to take the world by storm. When she takes off, it will be in a Lear going warp speed.
Jack is the ‘baby’ and always will be. As an Italian mother of a son, he can do no wrong- ever. He is warm, and deep and sometimes snarky and sarcastic. He makes me laugh and humors me when I want to hug him. Jack will take off in a Vespoli racing shell, not a Lear and is more than happy to do so.
I think of all the years I sat in airports watching planes take off and land wishing I was going home. Metaphorically, the planes taking off now reflect the changes in our lives as parents. I am thankful Chip and I are together after all these years and beginning to plan our retirement. I’m not sure when or where that will be, but I promise you it will be close to an airport. I am not missing one single minute of their lives.