We’re leaving soon. The car is packed, almost. The maps have been consulted, the route plotted, the schedule worked and reworked and reworked again (do we have time to detour to Frankenmuth? To stop at Target? To visit Joy?). We’re ready. We’re excited. Everything is perfect.
Except for this one small thing, this very small thing, this very small girl, to whom I have already said goodbye, whose cheeks I have already kissed and kissed and kissed and dampened with my tears (Mommy sad?).
I’ve said many goodbyes in my life. To family, to friends, to lovers; some tearful, some not. I still cry every time that I say goodbye to my own mother. I certainly cry when I say goodbye to my husband. But nothing quite prepares you for the tug-of-heart that is saying goodbye to your child, that is waving them off and knowing that you won’t remain right around the corner, that you won’t be there when they get home, that you won’t be there to tuck them into bed. Knowing that you are putting an impossible distance between the two of you, knowing that you are losing time that you can never get back.
My heart aches and yearns to stretch, to fling itself into her pocket and go with her wherever she goes, stay with her no matter how far I go, to stretch and stretch and stretch across the distance, across whatever distance, for however long, until I am pulled back and clutching her, my heart-wrapped her, to my breast again.
Future album cover.
She’ll be fine, I know. More than fine. She’ll be with her Da, revelling in summer. And I’ll be fine, too. More than fine.
But I’ll still feel, keenly, the stretching of my heart.