The worst part about going home to visit is having to leave. Saying goodbye to everyone breaks my heart into pieces all over again – it’s like leaving for the first time. And for Aidan (less so for Liam), I think it’s even worse. For myself and Josh, we are able to communite throughout the year with our friends and family – skype, facebook, phone and email are amazing inventions that I don’t think I could have survived this journey without.
But for Aidan, he’s limited. Yes, he has access to all of these things. But he has less interest. He wants to play with his friends not look at them on the computer. He wants spontaneous conversation. And since he’s not of an age where he is really emailing, he’s not keeping in great touch with his friends. Thankfully his friends’ parents and I keep in touch for all them and keep their relationships alive throughout the year – but I actually think the kids are just close enough that they don’t really need us reminding them, they just are who they are, best friends. And every year when we leave I tell him that we need to be better about communicating. Hopefully this year will be the year. He’s 8, he’s reading and writing, and he knows that we can call people up any time.
However, that doesn’t diminish the hurt in saying goodbye to friends and family for both of us. While we had to say goodbye to everyone we saw of course, the ones that impacted Aidan the most were our family and his friends from the neighborhood. Our first goodbyes were on the Cape where Aidan had to say goodbye to his Granny and Papa. We tried to keep it quick and easy with hugs and kisses. But when we got into the car Aidan asked me if it was now ok to cry. OMG, break my heart kid!! Of course it’s ok to cry! And why does he think he has to be so strong and not cry??
From the Cape we went up to Attleboro to do our goodbyes in the neighborhood. I knew this would be pretty gut wrenching and I was right. We brought cupcakes from our favorite Cupcake Charlies as we heard little Aaron had broken his elbow the previous night. We tried to keep things festive and Nate and Aidan played a bit of football outside while Liam and Aaron hung out on the swings. Once again Aidan and Linz seemed to be playing a bit of a flirting game where neither would acknowledge each other but yet they’d give each other these sly little smiles…hmmmm…. Eventually we knew we’d have to make the move since we had to head back to my parents’ for dinner – Aidan was crying in the car and Nate was crying on the sidewalk. I wish there was a way to make this easier!!!!!
Our final big goodbyes was with my parents. We spent our final day with them and they took us to the airport. My dad usually drops us at the curb and we grab our bags, give a quick kiss and off we go. It’s quick and easy with no time for emotions til later. But this year they joined us in the airport until we got to security. It was good and bad. I loved that they stayed with us and helped us navigate the airport. But it also meant the goodbye was longer and more emotional. As soon as I turned my back to go through security I could feel the tears prickling behind my eyes and tried to keep them hidden from Aidan – yes, I want him to know I’m emotional about leaving too, but I already knew he was having a tough time and wanted to focus on him.
The kids slept on the plane and when we got back to Barcelona we talked about all the wonderful memories we made on this trip which was made so special by everyone we saw. Every goodbye was hard but I hope everyone remembers that it’s not goodbye forever but just for a little bit. I hope everyone knows how much it meant to all of us to see you and that we loved all of the time you spent with us!! You make us feel so loved and cherished!!! I’m already starting to look for flights for next year!!