Coming Home

Family Photo

It didn’t take long to miss the little things after leaving on my recent journey to the land known as America. There was no hug goodbye, no “we’ll miss you Daddy”, really, there was nothing but silence as I slipped out the door at 5am on a cold Thursday morning.

As I hit the road that morning, I had a nervous excitement about where I was headed and the experiences I would have. Still, there were constant reminders of what I was leaving behind. A miniature hockey bag on the floor made me think about how great my son’s first year of skating was going and of how proud I was of him. He wasn’t floating on air like Gretzky but maybe Wayne himself got off to a slow start.

There were warning signs to turn around as well. The first was the eerie squeal of the tires as they tore across the metal of the International Bridge. This was followed by 65 mile per hour winds that did everything but knock me right off the road. The two blizzards that followed served as a reminder of the fact that I was not in charge. No, SHE was in charge and it wouldn’t be the last time on this trip that I would be reminded of this.

I was not even three hours in and I was already wondering if my family missed me as much as I missed them. As I sat in the terminal, staring at the giant hunk of aluminum that would soon propel me 38,000 feet above land, I thought only of them. Airplanes. My arch nemesis. My kryptonite.

The flights were surprisingly easy; aside from the constant thoughts of us colliding with another aircraft, that is. I quietly read about Neil Young’s life story and his inspiration was enough to keep my nervous twitch subdued just long enough for the wheels to hit the tarmac. I love Neil. He has helped me through many tough times even though we have never met, and most likely never will.

Airports, Hotel, Conference, Karaoke, Cabbies with Guns; All of it wonderful and exciting and new in its own way, but something was still missing. I got a preview of that something at the midway point of my adventure courtesy of my wife. Here it is:

Yeah… I don’t think I need to explain what happened next, do I? By the end of the video, my room resembled the falls in Niagara as I instinctively clicked play, again, and again, and again. Each time noticing something familiar and wishing I was back there, in that moment, with my family. I knew I couldn’t leave just yet. I came here with a purpose, after all, and wouldn’t leave until I had proved to myself that I could face my fear and conquer it, which I am proud to say I did.

The long trip home was filled with road blocks. Airport confusion, flight delays, freezing rain, darkness, sleet, snow, aliens, gremlins, Super Bowl black outs & even the Stay Puff marshmallow man! You name it, I saw it, but nothing was going to stop me from getting home to those three smiling faces from the video. The kids were dreaming of princesses and Skylanders by the time I got home but I enjoyed the quiet catch up with my wife, whom I missed dearly.

Then, as if she could read my mind, my daughter popped her head around the stairwell and smiled. It was one of those smiles that make you realize how important someone is in your life. It was love. And I was wearing the exact same smile.

25 replies
  1. Nolie
    Nolie says:

    As much as it sucks to go away it is amazing when you get home and you get the hugs, smiles and we missed yous. My first Blissdom Canada in 2010 I called my husband and asked him to come get me at 10 at night. We lived 4 hours away and I missed my family. He told me no, hang up the phone, have a drink and enjoy my night. Blissdom Canada 2012 (my 2nd time away) I sat in my room crying as I missed my family. I texted my husband then went back to the conference. We now lived 6 hours away and no way would he come pick me up.

    Reply
    • Chris Read
      Chris Read says:

      Haha, I guess a 14 hour journey home wouldn’t have made much sense for me either… It was definitely tough but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Houston and came home with way more than I left with.

      Reply
  2. Christine
    Christine says:

    Ahhh! That is such a sweet video!! I’d cry too! 🙂 I remember my first social media conference in 2011. It was the very first time I was away from Hubby and Little One. I remember crying in my hotel room and calling home every day for three days. Each time I called home and chatted with Little One, she seemed undisturbed and said, “Okay, Mommy. I love you. I’m busy now. I’m washing dishes. Gotta go. Bye!” I think that broke my heart just a little!

    The great news is that everyone’s all smiles and kisses when it’s homecoming time! 🙂 So happy to be able to read about your amazing trip!

    Reply
    • Chris Read
      Chris Read says:

      A little secret, when I got back from Blissdom I asked my wife to video my entrance to show the kids running at me and yelling “Daddy!!!” What ended up happening was me walking into two screaming, fighting kids, who both wandered over to me to tattle on the other…Poor Dad!

      Reply
  3. Brandi
    Brandi says:

    Awwww that’s so sweet! It’s so hard being away from the family while trying to enjoy a new experience. But it sounds like you had fun and came home to such beautiful hugs and smiles!!! 🙂

    Reply
  4. Cheryl
    Cheryl says:

    Aww, so sweet to hear that dads can miss their family as much as we mommies do. I always feel sad when I leave my little guy – even if it’s just for a few hours!

    Reply
  5. MommyMatter.com
    MommyMatter.com says:

    Just awesome! I still remember my first conference away from my kids and it sucked. I called home constantly, but the kids were too busy doing fun stuff at Grama’s so I got the shaft instantly.

    I too would of wept like a baby after receiving that video!

    Now you’re home, safe and with the fam jam! Hope your conference went great 🙂

    Reply
  6. Randa @ The Bewitchin' Kitchen
    Randa @ The Bewitchin' Kitchen says:

    I’m not a fan of flying myself. I used to be FINE until my husband worked for a guy who fixed planes for Air Canada (I do not fly Air Canada anymore). Then a year and a half ago I flew out of Calgary and our plane caught fire. Thankfully it was right at take off, so we just circled back.

    I’m flying to Kelowna in two weeks, it’s only an hour fly but I’m nervous.

    Reply
  7. Shash
    Shash says:

    We love you forever! and the universe… that’s soooo cute, I wouldn’t have been able to hold it together. Going away makes coming home sweeter 🙂

    Reply
  8. Jodi Shaw
    Jodi Shaw says:

    That is so awesome Chris. Family is so important and even when we travel or are doing things to better ourselves, it’s easy to forget the little things, the people waiting at home for us. Great post!

    Reply

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