This was Ryan’s first statement to me yesterday as I woke up. Paolo and Nathan left for Boracay very early so goodbyes to the other kids were said the night before. Unfortunately, Ryan was so tired he crashed in bed a little too early and missed it. So when he came to my bedroom the next morning, that’s the first thing he told me, in between tears “I didn’t get to say goodbye to Dad.” I became teary as well because I felt his sadness.
Saying goodbye is an important ritual in our family, much like saying goodnight every night before bedtime. I treasure the times whenever Paolo and I go out on a date, and our kids would run to the garage barefooted in their pajamas, and would give us a hug through the car window, shower us with kisses, and follow the car out the garage until our tail light disappears from their view. Saying goodbye I think gives our children a sense of control over the day’s events. It gives them the security that nothing unexpected is going to happen. It gives them the confidence that dad and mom didn’t abandon them and they are returning home for sure. Of course, we’ve never heard our kids articulate these things. But they have the need to be assured that at the end of the day, dad and mom are always coming back home.
Paolo called from Boracay and talked to Ryan. Every unsaid fear of Ryan was eased.