One hello away.

I always thought I’d be the type of parent that could kiss my kids goodbye without crying. It was important to me that I maintain my identity as a person not just form a new identity as a parent. Key to that idea was travel. I spent the majority of my life contained in the same state. I made myself a promise that I’d continue to go places without my children. Close places. The grocery store. Far places. Africa. I’d be a parent that could continue to leave. I’d say goodbye time and time again, each time saddened by the distance but enthralled by the adventure. Each time without shedding a tear or even looking back.

Something went wrong. I’m now the parent who sobs steaming tears into her steering wheel after saying goodbye for three days. The one who notices every child she passes and thinks about her own children with a crooked grin, a knowing glance, and a half dead heart.

It turns out parenting is actually made up of a lifetime of goodbyes. Each day, each milestone, each moment. Goodbyes that make you sit upright in bed aching from an unknown loss. Goodbyes that you thought would be welcomed, needed, and appreciated after being called “stupid” for the 10th time in a week. Goodbyes that jolt you anyway.

Thankfully a lifetime of goodbyes is balanced by just as many hellos. In my case, I hope my hellos are made more interesting by my travels in between. I hope I can share with you new loves, new stories, and inspire you to say goodbye a few more times yourself.

Remember my loves, no matter where I go or how far apart we feel, we are always just one hello away.

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