Hold you tight

Hold you tight

When you wake up in the morning, I’ll be gone. Somewhere on a plane, in the sky, a thousand kilometres away from our warm home. It will still be dark when I pull my tiny suitcase down the path and out to the waiting taxi.

The sun will come up and Dad will be in charge. He’ll do your hair, he’ll do your lunch box, he’ll be me for a few days. While you’re having your breakfast, I’ll be doing the same. It’s just that mine will be on a small tray that will be delivered by a hostess who’s impeccable hair is actually quite unnatural at that time of the morning.

By the time you’re in class, my plane will be landing. I’ll step off into the warmth of a far away state, and no doubt regret my Melbourne black uniform as soon as that humid air smacks me in the face.

You’ll call me in the evening and we’ll Facetime. Pull funny faces, read your favourite joke book together and you’ll make the pets talk to me through the screen. They’re never quite sure what is going on, but for your sake or maybe out of sincere curiosity, they tolerate the screen being shoved in their face. For a short time anyway.

I’ll show you around my hotel room. You’re getting good at rating them, asking all the right questions. Does it have a balcony? What’s the view like? Where is the bathroom? What is the TV like? Is there a good room service breakfast?

You’ll sign off because it’s bedtime. I won’t be there to kiss you goodnight, but that’s ok. As you get older, I’m getting more used to not being there as you go off to sleep. It’s bittersweet. It’s only in the recent months you would have slept so calmly without me there. But I’m not there.

I’ll turn on the TV, because the background noise breaks up the unnatural quiet that only a hotel has. Some nights I’ll pull out the laptop, because I know if I work until my eyes are heavy, that I’ll sleep well. A busy mind is a tired mind. Or something like that.

Other nights I’ll try and find a movie, or I’ll open up the book I’ve started on the plane and try to wear myself out that way. It’s odd, but I rarely write when I’m travelling, despite it being my usual way to unwind.

It’s almost as though I’m in a bit of a suspended state. Waiting for my real life to start again when I get home. I know it’s silly, I know that life goes on without me; I see it in our Facetime chats, I speak to Husband many times a day. Of course it still goes on, and it does so very well, despite the distance between us.

So tonight I’ll set the alarm. And wake before the sun comes up. I’ll wait to grab a coffee at the airport rather than risk waking you. Tiptoeing around in the dark, trying to get dressed in the outfit I’ve laid out the night before.

I promise to try and be quiet, but I am going to place a gentle kiss on your forehead as I leave and I’ll pretend it will be enough to hold you tight until I get back.

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  1. I loved reading this and you took me back and reminded me of how bittersweet trips away were when my own children were little.

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