You miss it all when you’re not around.
You never even know, on the other side of the world,
that he’s going to his first day of pre-school,
or the first time he actually plays with other children.
It’s when you see the picture and he’s bigger, taller, thinner.
It’s when he says, “Hi Uncle Jared,” and not, “Hi Uncle Jaren.”
Skype pales in comparison to scratching his head as he runs by naked from the bathroom, wet.
Saturday mornings it used to be he and I in Iowa City, and, in this summer’s winter, the blue sky.
January and he played outside, on the playground, watching other kids.
I could be back in six months. I could be back in a year.
But that doesn’t matter, because I won’t be here.
And that’s the price we pay—we who indulge our wanderlust—what feels like
the ever slipping away of our relationships, friends and family
for a high that comes with new smells and tastes and words and sounds.
Are we selfish? Is that bad? Are our sacrifices worth it? Are they sacrifices?
But, in the end, I must go, because that is who we are,
and I would not be you if my desires were not true.
And I cannot stand hypocrisy, and a hypocrite I would be if I did not leave.
And so, I must go and miss Saturday mornings.