Sunday, March 28, 2010


I was away in Louisiana for longer than usual last time. Annual recurrent training, with long, intense days in the classroom and the simulator.

It always has an affect on Dylan when I'm away for longer than usual, and this time was no different. Rhonda went to bed early, and Dylan asked me to sit next to him while we watched "Iron Man."

I thought about how long it had been since we snuggled up together to watch a movie. He's a big kid now; he'll be ten this summer. It was a tighter fit in the easy chair than last time, but we wedged in there together. We made it half way through the movie before he feel asleep against my shoulder.

Geez, I remember being in my twenties and thirties and feeling envious of women friends because they could cry. "It must feel so good," I would think, knowing how difficult it was for me to find that kind of emotional release.

Wow, things sure changed after I became a dad. I think I cried more in the first three years of Dylan's life than I had in my entire adulthood. Mostly, I weeped out of joy, but as most parents know, that joy is infused with a beautiful sadness, a sadness that comes from knowing that our times with little ones will be too short, and that one day they will fly away.

Few parents really want the kids to stay forever. We know that taking wing is evidence of a successful upbringing. We don't want them lounging on the sofa, thirty and jobless, mad because all of the potato chips are gone. And yet, some of us still dread that day when our kids leave us to make lives for themselves.

I thought about that as I looked at my son's hairy little sleeping head resting on my shoulder. But really, his head isn't so little anymore, and that's one more reminder that one day he'll fly away.

Good God, I hope I'll be ready.

Gotta go. Damn sinuses.


Kelly said...

You know, the tenderness and love for your family that you express in your writing really touches me, Hal.

Mary Paddock said...

No, we don't want them home forever, but sometimes I wish we could figure out how to preserve those moments like you've just experienced. That way all we'd have to do is add water and relive it.

Debby said...

You know, I was talking to another parent today. You are never really 'ready'. But you adapt, and life flows into the empty places, and goes on. But, Hal, I had my kids home this weekend, and Cara's boyfriend too. I came down in the middle of the night for an aspirin, and the three of them were sprawled on the sofa watching 'The Lion King' in the dark. I sat down and we watched it together, laughing and telling stories. It was great. Those moments may not come every day, or every week, or every month even, but they are still wonderful when they happen.

Pam said...

Yes, your Dylan posts always warm my heart, too. What a wonderful dad you are!!

They do grow up fast, fly away and then come a whole new set of worries and issues to contend with.

I watch my youngest two grandsons ( more like my sons then grandsons due to the circumstances) grow and remember the time, not that long ago, when they were little and sweet and without all the angst and issues that come with nearing puberty. That and their emotional issues.

Cherish this time and the closeness you have with Dylan. Something tells me you two will always be close.

Algernon said...

I know Dylan's happy to have you back.

Uncle E said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Uncle E said...

Jesus, Hal, I don't know how you do it, but you do. Gets me every time.
Damn scrub oaks! (*SNIFF*)

Bob said...

Don't worry, you won't be ready. But somehow you'll get through it.

Anonymous said...

I love reading about the relationship of you and your son. It is very touching and uplifting I go through the same feelings with my son.