I left America almost a week ago, and am currently in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. I’m clarifying the United Arab Emirates part, in case some of you were confused by the title of this entry and thought Dubai was a man, who I left the girlfriend kids for.
Saying good-bye to my boyfriend’s daughter the night before I left was all very normal and without tears. Just a promise that I’d bring back something really cool that a 17 year old fashion junky would like. However, my boyfriend’s son was a whole other story.
I had an early flight, so we had to leave the house at the butt crack of dawn. It was decided that his son would stay asleep, while my boyfriend drove me to the airport. If all went well and there wasn’t any traffic, he’d be back in less than two hours. I said a preliminary good-bye the night before and my boyfriend’s son said that he’d be up to say good-bye in the morning.
It was a restless sleep, full of nerves, excitement and, “Don’t forget to pack the hard boiled eggs” reminders. I never travel without my eggs. I shot out of bed as soon as the alarm went off and went into final preparation mode. Passport, check. Visa, check. Money, license, boarding pass, protein bars, phone, camera, eggs. CHECK! I was ready.
While my boyfriend was kind enough to drag my, “I know this is going to be over the limited weight” suitcase to the car, I walked over to his son, who was still sleeping on the couch. I bent down over him, whispered his name and told him that I was leaving, and wanted to say good-bye.
He extended his 12 year old arms out and threw them around my neck in a tight hug, bringing us cheek to cheek. He started to cry. Oh, shit. I felt sad, lost, found, mushy and more like a girlfriend mom than I ever had. He said he didn’t want me to go and that he was going to miss me. Oh, double shit. I was hit in the gut in the most beautiful of ways.
I assured him that two months was going to fly by and that I’d miss him as well. I told him to do lots of things over the summer so he could tell me about them when I got back. I said that I’d bring back presents. Parents say that all the time, right? I tried to lighten it up by promising to follow him on Facebook, so he’d better be good.
I kissed his cheek and the top of his head, as I brushed his hair back behind his ear (like my parents did when I was sad) trying to comfort him. I let myself fall hard and heavy into this little person’s emotions. And although I’ve always felt deep in my soul, that I’d be a natural at this parent thing, nothing felt more authentic in that moment, than soothing this sensitive little boy, who was expressing himself in his half sleep state.