It was hard leaving Hawaii this time around. For whatever reason, it really sunk in that my mom’s no longer helping me with an english paper, and my dad’s no longer offering stoic encouragement during a basketball game.
This isn’t profound commentary. I am, after all, in my 30’s, ostensibly grown up, paying the bills as a song and dance man. And my folks are comfortably retired, healthier than ever, with admirable travel lust. Things are good in Larkin world.
But as parents get older, you appreciate there’s a finish line. No one’s actively seeking it out, thankfully, but I’m aware that it’s there, lurking like a real asshole around some far-off bend. This feeling’s exaggerated, I’m sure, by my line of work, where the constant travel and red carpet nonsense tricks you into thinking you can be everywhere, which of course means you’re never really anywhere.
As I’m writing this in the PDX airport waiting on my connecting flight, I realize that I can’t be everywhere I want to be. I want to spend every moment possible with my parents, but they’d tell me, in the parlance of their homeland, to sod off, and that their flight to Brussels is boarding.
Then they’d tell me they loved me, and to “be where you are,” something they’ve told me since I was a kid, reminding me that my life is uniquely mine, prismatic and gloriously topsy-turvy.