June 27, 2010

Goodnight My Children

Time and circumstances have taken me away from my children. Earlier today I hugged them tight, kissed their heads, whispered a silent blessing and said goodbye. With some effort I turned and walked away, each step taking me closer to a car that will lead to a plane that will take me farther away from them than I am right now.

If fortune smiles upon me the time apart will be brief and the moments that lie in between will be quick. I go off to take care of grown up things that they know nothing of and have no part in. That is as it should be. They need to be children for as long as they possibly can because once childhood is gone there is no way to turn back the clock.

Innocence is only ours but once and then experience has its way with our eyes and they never see things the same way again. Sometimes that is a good thing. There are moments in which innocence lost is a treasured gained.

Today I looked in my son's eyes and I saw a boy who was determined to be tough even though it wasn't what he really wanted. So I wrapped him up in a giant bear hug and shook him. And though he protested it wasn't with real effort and we both got what we wanted.

The dark haired beauty was a different story. She wrapped her arms around my neck and pulled me down to kiss my cheeks. It was a demand, not a request and one that I gladly acquiesced to. Dark eyes looked into mine, searching for something that she never did verbalize.

And now hours past and hundreds of miles later I sit here at my computer digesting the day and playing back the mental movie of the moments that were. Somewhere in beds far from here they are asleep, these children of mine.

I spoke to them moments after they brushed their teeth and listened to stories about dinner and what they had seen. I promised to see them sooner than they thought, telling them that I would greet them in their dreams. And then, I said goodnight- told them that I loved them and hung up.

Soon I will shut the computer down. I'll turn it off, unplug it and walk upstairs to a bed that is not mine and close my eyes. And just before I fall asleep I will picture the place that I promised to meet my children. Even now I am already beginning to visualize it. So you'll forgive me if I cut this short, I have a date that I can't miss.

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