April 27, 2014
The act of going to the airport to say goodbye.
The weight over your chest as you drive the curving streets that wind their way to the terminal, with the silver wings of an airplane obstructing the view of the sherbet colored sunrise. The way you carefully craft words and phrases to explain to her why he has to go, and how long he will be gone, and know it won't be enough at bedtime next Tuesday when it sinks in that he isn't there to pray and read a story. The reason one hug or ten won't matter when he slips though security and you need another. The innocence of the baby swaddled in his pale blue blanket, completely unaware of what this means. The moment she asks you why you're crying, and you don't know what to tell her because you don't even know. The tension in your jaw that settles in because you're doing this without him again, and you've done it before, and you still feel a little lost.
The curious looks from strangers who eye his uniform and doubtless assume that he's going to or coming from war. And you want to explain to them, in a shaking voice, that leaving is leaving and that pain occurs no matter where he's going.