Today was the day. Gregory got in his car and left for the air traffic control training in Oklahoma City.
We've been talking about it, stressing about it, planning for it, theorizing about it for two years - but today was the day it happened. It's surreal, to say the least.
What is the quote, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life"? Something like that? It's hard to feel that sentiment when the "today" we're speaking of is just another 24 hours that passes quickly and we do nothing out of the ordinary.
But we woke up at our new early time to get Ayla dressed for pre-school - only knowing that we were about to experience a shift, a tilt in our lives that we haven't felt since having children. It really felt like maybe the morning you wake up when you are getting married, maybe upon hearing that someone important in your life has passed away or on the way to the hospital in labor with your first baby... you know something big is happening, but you feel very ordinary about it.
It's September 16th, big deal! A Thursday. Bo-oring. Only today Gregory was leaving to venture on a huge career change. Goodbye bartender, hello vitally important federal employee. (Not that bartenders are not also vitally important parts of society.) Our small and young family about to experience a separation we are in no way accustomed to or prepared for. I am suddenly in charge of a household and three children for every minute of the day. I'm a mother that's used to walking away when their father is watching the kids and not worrying about a thing. While I have an incredible support system - I still feel ultimately responsible to make sure that every minute of the next three months is figured out ahead of time.
Days like this always put me in a weird spot. I'm both living my life and watching it at the same time. As we prepared for his departure, feeling the pain for Gregory as he had to first say goodbye to precious Ayla, as she says, "But I'll miss you, Dada. It's hard to be apart." and then Jackson, who doesn't and DOES know what is happening at the same time. And me, holding a newborn Elliot who will never remember living here in Pittsburgh, and trying to console myself and my husband for what we both know is a going to be a long time apart..... what will we think of this morning ten years from now? A fantastic no-looking-back decision or the beginning of a series of changes that will take us to many cities and many challenges?
I don't know for sure, but I think what I know is that we are willing to risk it. Don't all of life's huge changes ultimately happen on ordinary mornings on ordinary days? That's how we all left home for college or the first time we rented our own apartments or moved in with our partners for life. Big decisions carried through little, insignificant changes.