Archive for travel

What did you bring me?

Posted in Family with tags , , , , , on July 11, 2008 by macmystery

I remember when I was young, my father traveled a fair amount with his jobs.

He would travel to interesting places … Colorado Springs, San Francisco, Germany, Panama … I can’t remember them all.

My sister and I couldn’t wait to see what he would bring us when he would return.

Of course, my father is quite the photographer, and we could always count on a slide show to go along with his big trips. I miss those a great deal now, taking the pictures off the wall in the dining or living room so that the projector would have a big white space on which to throw its light.

But after most trips, we would pepper him with what must have been a familiar welcome upon his returns.

“Daddy, what did you bring me?”

Sometimes it was some trinket or a shirt or nothing. Sometimes it was something only a boy with interests such as mine would have enjoyed as much, like a chunk of fool’s gold from a trip out West.

(After all this time, my all-time favorite may be the Star Wars bedsheets he brought back to me from Germany, of all places. I’d still be using the pillowcase, if my wife would let me get away with it.)

But nonetheless, my dad always, if he had the opportunity, brought us something back.

I’m sure he would have rather come home and heard, “Welcome home, Daddy,” or “it’s great to have you home, Dad.” But he didn’t. We were kids, and I guess we took it for granted that he would always come back safely and I think we never understood how Mama worried while he was gone.

But it didn’t matter. He always tried to bring us something from his travels anyway.

And now I understand.

In two days, it will have been six weeks since I’ve seen my family. I’ve missed a lot and I miss them a lot.

Talking on the phone is just no substitute for seeing them or holding them or snuggling up with them at night. I’ve missed a great deal of smiles and maybe as many tears.

I’ve taken a ton of pictures, and I can’t wait to show them all the cool things I’ve seen and done. And I’ve bought T-shirts and postcards and little trinkets, just like my dad did for us.

And I’ve done it mainly because, while I’ve gotten to talk to Dylan on the phone, it just doesn’t seem like enough. I want him to know how much I’ve thought about him while I’ve been in Reno. I want him to understand that, even when I was 2,400 miles away, I was thinking about him. A lot.

And I don’t know for certain, but maybe that’s how my dad felt. And I don’t know if I can ever thank him or tell him that I love him enough.

But one thing I do know is I can’t wait to show Dylan what I brought him.

I’ve missed a lot

Posted in Family with tags , , on July 4, 2008 by macmystery
Dylan\'s growing up.

Dylan is growing up.

I’ve been in Reno, Nev., for five weeks now, away from my family. While I have learned a lot at the editing program and thoroughly enjoyed my stay in “The Biggest Little City in the World,” I’m ready to go home.

Early on, my trip was a lot harder on Brooke and the kids than it was on me. While I missed them, she was at home having to make things work without me with two kids and a job and all the responsibilities that go both.

But now, I’m ready to be back.

We talk on the phone semi-regularly. We exchange numerous e-mails a day. And my wife is blogging, so I get to read how her day goes. But it doesn’t make up for the things you’re supposed to be there for.

My little girl has her first two teeth and I haven’t seen them yet. She’s been sick the last couple of days and it hurts to hear her cough when I’m on the phone with them.

I’ve never been away from my little boy, Dylan, for this long. Previously, the longest time I had spent away was a little less than a week. This time, he came to the airport with me to say goodbye, but in the name of increased security, he couldn’t see me get on the plane or watch my plane take off from the terminal.

A few days after I left, I got a phone call from my wife at an unscheduled time. The realization had hit Dylan that Daddy was a long way away, and he was worried I wouldn’t be coming back and I had to calm a crying child from more than 2,000 miles away.

About two weeks ago he called me to ask how long would it be before I came home. “How many days?” he asked. “Twenty-one,” I answered.

But for the most part, he’s taken it well. We talk on the phone and he ends every conversation with, “Be careful coming home,” which is his way of saying good night, just like he does each night when I’m at work.

But two days ago my wife threw me a curve. As it is, I think she sends me e-mails and writes blog posts with one specific goal, to see if she can make me cry. And sometimes she does. But this was new.

I opened my e-mail inbox and there was a surprise for me: an e-mail from an address with my son’s name attached to it, rather than my wife’s. I opened it, and this is what it said:

dear daddyy,
i hope you are having fun in nevada. i am haviing fun with just my mommy aand eella.
love
dylan
My son, not yet 5, is sending me e-mails, with mom’s help I’m sure. But still …
It’s time to go home. I’m missing too much.