Thursday, October 15, 2009

From 8 years old up until I was 11, I used to cry every time my father used to go out of town. He would only be gone for a few days at a time, but I'd get really upset and cry for about 20 minutes after he left, and then I'd be fine. When he arrived at his destination, he'd call me, and after we hung up there no crying. There was no crying in the days in between when I would not hear from him, and there were definitely no tears on the day of his return. But for 3 years, the first 20 mintues of his departure was simply devastating to me. My father was and still is my hero, and things just felt safer when he was around, and I didn't like anything altering that, even on temporary basis. I loved my mother and all, but it wasn't the same. And at that age, my brother was still under my tutileage, so he really couldn't help me manage my emotions at that time; however, for whatever reason, all that crying ended for some reason once I started junior high school.

The same type of tears come whenever I drop my son off, but for very different reasons. As I have typed in this space before, it is not natural for a father to send his son somewhere away from him. Nothing about it feels right, and although I know damn well it has to be like this for now, it doesn't make my emotions any easier to get a hold of and control.

My son heads back to Arizona on Saturday, but today he headed back to Hampton, VA to spend some time with his other grandparents. He's a big boy, and he's flown cross country solo a few times, which means he could definitely handle the 3 hour train ride down there by himself. So this morning we went to Union Station, bought a ticket, and then we were escorted to the train. The two train conductors sat Carlton and I down and talked about the rules he was to follow during the trip. Then I pulled one of the conductors aside and asked him to keep an eye on my son in between his other conductor duties, then he gave me his word that he would. I went back to my son, hugged and kissed him, gave him about 455 other sets of rules, one more hug, then the conductor politely asked me to get the hell of the train so they could leave.

From the time the train slowly left the station, to right now while I am typing this, the tears kept coming. I'm sure the people who saw me en route to work thought I had been smoking the sweet cheeba, because my eyes were red, but I kept wiping away the tears, so no one would see me. I held it together for the most part until I sat down at my work desk, and then I just completely lost it. All week my son has been on the left or right of me, and now he's just gone until the next time, and I can't say that I like it. But I'm grateful that we got some quality time in, and I'm grateful that we've created yet another memory for him to reminisce on when he gets back home. Still, that doesn't make the few hours it takes for the tears to completely go away any easier..

4 comments:

Sab D said...

Sometimes ... Even the holding the chin all the way up strategy doesn't work ....

Kawana Cohen-Hopkins said...

Real father show emotion and it's wonderful that you are not ashamed.

~KCH

Jamal said...

*in my Michael Mobley voice* That's allright.....

scout said...

This is so sweet.