Long ago, in the “Before Times” of 2019, I purchased a ticket to attend Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim. Then COVID happened, and the event got kicked out. Tomorrow, I finally fly out to California for four exhausting and fun days of convention-going.
Had this event happened as scheduled back in 2020, Miles would have only been two years old while I was gone. Now, at four years old, he’s developed a much higher degree of awareness about what it means for me to be going on a trip. Today, he expressed a bit of sadness about it, crying and telling me that he didn’t want me to go.
There were things I wish I could say to him. “Daddy needs to have fun sometimes,” for instance. Or, “I need a break from parenting.” But I knew there was only one way I could truly console him.
“I’m going to bring back presents for you.”
Although we were talking on the phone at the time, I could almost hear Miles perk up at this revelation. “What presents?” he asked, the tears suddenly subsiding.
Works every time.