A “hard launch,” I’m told, is when you post a picture of you and your partner on Instagram after having kept it a secret. A “soft launch” is when you post a picture of you and your partner on Instagram at the end of a gallery of related photos after having kept it a secret. Hannah posted a picture of us on her Instagram Stories today while we were waiting to board at the airport.
It was time. Our lives are coming together and we’re moving forward together. Being diligent about keeping things quiet started to feel like a hindrance rather than a freedom.
Within minutes, people responded to her. OMG. Even people who already knew had something to say about her Story. I suppose, for them, too, it was a bit of a reveal. Not a balloon-full-of-confetti sort of reveal, but more of a “I’m no longer part of a secret,” type of reveal. We didn’t consult beforehand.
For me, I think it was important that Hannah met my parents and sister before making things more public. That was the main objective of this visit to Calgary. My mom made special mention of how she had finally met Hannah during the drive to the airport. What must it be like to only have heard about someone your son is spending an incredible amount of time with? Thankfully, the meeting went well. Incredibly well.
When we arrived, my parents picked us up. We called them once we had collected our luggage and found a post outside to stand at. They saw us, pulled up, and hopped out of the car. My mother hugged Hannah and then sat back in the car. My dad hugged me and then her. I put the luggage in the trunk.
My parents dropped us off at the airport today. My mom came into the airport with us and walked us to security. She hugged me, getting a little teary-eyed. She hugged Hannah and kissed her on the cheek. Once we were through security, we waved to her and she blew “us” a kiss before leaving.
I tend to get a little emotional about leaving Calgary when I send my parents a “thank you” text from the airport. Thinking about how much they have done for me, and continue to do, gives me feels. When I lived here, it was easy to overlook because it was commonplace, regular, and daily. Increasingly, I’m a visitor. Each time I come home, more of what I left behind has changed, more of my parents’ lives have been established. More of what they do for me and what they have done for me is made clearer to me.
It’s impossible to post a picture to tell that story. Words hardly do well.
In so many ways, my life is a mystery to my parents. They ask me questions on the phone, they visit occasionally, I’ll sometimes share a story unprompted. I’m not secretive, as such, just settled into my own way. They, too, live a life I know little about.
When we visit one another, we get to see parts of each others’ lives, lives that were once intertwined. The little pieces we’ve collected while apart come together. We pay attention to only what we find important. The distractions are all of the details we share just to keep in contact. Where we end up, where the knots in the thread lie, where we stop for moment, is where we launch softly into a story already being told.