Tuesday, December 3, 2013


The airport is busy, really busy, at 6:00 on Sunday morning. Son #1, not a fan of morning or crowds, is more than a little growly. Son #2, who has also done his share of grumbling falls silent. I recognize the look of detachment. He has struggled. Been homesick. It's hard to go back and  he is wearing his game face.

Somehow, an athletic bag and a small suitcase, usually carry on's, are not carry on's today,  and we join a looong line to check them in. I worry that arriving tow hours ahead of time is not early enough  and scoot out of line to discover that we can check in on my son's phone. Which we do. And then still have to wait 15 minutes for the baggage line.

Finally the bags are checked and the boys and I head toward the bridge to Terminal A. It's time to say goodbye. I count, mentally, how many times I have done this in the last year. At least five. And this time is only for about two weeks before the boys return again. And I still hate it. Every. Single. Time. I envy the parents who say goodbye, then walk away as couples.

We stop at the entrance to the bridge. I cannot go any further with my man children. We exchange one last hug. I breathe in their scent willing myself to remember.

And then they turn. Walk away.

And they are gone.

I head
to the parking garage
with canyons of
in my heart.


Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Saying goodbye to one's kids feels the same, whether you are single or a couple. It's hard letting go, especially when the time together is short, and sweet.
But love is like that, isn't it Carol? And we never really know how much time we have with the ones we love - other than it's never enough. Here's to Christmas and having the kids around again!

writekimwrite said...

Aw Carol, "...canyons of emptiness echoing in my heart" Your words express and capture this scene so vividly. I know you are not left in that fleeting moment but reading about it makes me want to give you a hug. Prayers for these hard transitions.

Leigh Anne Eck said...

My heart hurts with your words but these next few weeks will go by so fast! Canyons of emptiness took my breath away...what powerful words!

jenbaum said...

Oh, Carol, my heart aches for you and your boys! Your description was riveting, and I could feel my stomach get increasingly tighter as I read. My eyes filled with tears, and I lifted a quick prayer that the home-sicknesses be covered by laughter and the time apart be swift. Warm thoughts...

elsie said...

Saying good-bye is so hard, no matter their age. Your final lines were so eloquent.

Nanc said...

I love this capture yourself in this moment, I breathe in their scent willing myself to remember.

Two weeks will zip. I know the feeling because right now I'm even having trouble attaching because I know it will be soon and they will be back to Ecuador...this time 5 years. Hmm and Jeff too, bought a house in Denver...maybe we'll move? xo

Ramona said...

Those airport goodbyes - so hard! I was standing there with you. So many phrases that I loved - "my man children," "breathe in their scent," and "canyons of emptiness." This will be my first Christmas without my daughter at home. Glad your boys are headed back home soon!

Linda B said...

Sorry for the sad feelings. It doesn't change. I still hate saying goodbye to my son, daughter-in-law & grandson. Glad the return is just a few weeks away for you-then a nice long visit, right?

Michelle said...

Sending a BIG {squeeze}!