Saturday, May 04, 2013

Saying Good-bye to Minneapolis...

 
Dear Sam,
Just moments ago, I watched you say good-bye to your bestfriend Stefan.  I would be lying if I described it as a tearful heart-breaking movie moment for you two.  The truth is you’re both 3 and responded much the same way any 3 year old responds to saying good-bye.  You said it, you laughed, hugged, laughed some more, and waved good-bye to each other while you were in the car and he stood on his front yard.  If I would have recorded this moment and played it back, it would have looked no different than any other time you’ve said good-bye to each other.  The big difference this time around was that I knew it was different.  Your mother knew.  Stefan’s mom knew.  And it broke our hearts. 
The irony is that for the last 2.5 years as our little family has been entrenched here in Minneapolis, I always knew we would leave one day. In the last 2.5 years, I was ready to pack up and take off at a moment’s notice because, well, that’s the nature of our business.  In the last 2.5 years I thought that I could easily say good-bye to this town without any tears.
Boy, was I wrong.
Because in the last 2.5 years something extraordinary happened, the 1-year old toddler that I brought to this Midwestern city became a 3-year old kid.  This little guy who used to suffer “poopslosions” and had a heavy addiction to his “pa-fier (pacifier)” suddenly became this little man with opinions and preferences and, most importantly, friends.  Real friends.  Kids he didn’t just “co-play with”, but kids he shared laughs with, pretended with, grew just a few inches more beside. 
And though you had a ton of great buddies here in Minneapolis like Silas and Ila and Olivia and Eric and Ravi, the one kid you always clung to was that first kid you met here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes - that kid that you saw at least once a week for every week that you lived here – that kid that on more than one occasion strangers would mistaken as your brother, sometimes even as your twin.  We saw you fight and laugh and fight some more and hug and giggle and grow up.  And again, ironically, though I always knew we would one day leave Minneapolis, the one fantasy I allowed to play out in my head was the idea of seeing you two boys grow up next to one another, play your first team sports together, venture awkwardly into junior high and high school, and ultimately become men who luckily always had their “bestfriend” right next to them along this amazing journey of adolescence…but of course that’s now not gonna happen.
I never knew I’d be sad about leaving Minneapolis and the truth is if it weren’t for you I’d be fine.  The friends I’ve made here are people I have no doubt I’ll see again in this small small world of entertainment.  But for you and Stefan, the next time you see each other, even if it's only a few months from now, it won’t be the same.  That’s not how time works when you’re little.  In a few months, you’ll both be chasing tomorrow with new buddies and new partners-in-crime, remembering very little that your bestfriend in the world at age 3 was each other.  And as your parents, all we can do is watch and remember and hopefully one day share with you all these wonderful stories that you won't readily remember of friendships that helped shape you into becoming the man you'll one day be. 
Stefan’s Mom and I jokingly said we’d meet each other in LA next year as TV writers, heroically reuniting our families and allowing you two to continue your epic BFF journey…but we all know that is far more easy to say than do.  If I were a betting man, I would definitely not bet on us actually pulling that magic trick off. The truth is neither one of us wants to believe that you two boys aren’t going to be “besties forevs”. 
So, yeah, I thought I could leave Minneapolis without any tears.  But in all honesty, I’ve never been this heartbroken about leaving a place since when I first left New York 2.5 years ago.  And if I’m being completely honest with myself, I'm even more heartbroken now because my sadness in this moment has very little to do with my own experience here and it has everything to do with yours.  As your dad, all I want is to do right by you.  I really hope that I am.  I love you, Sam Samurai.  You make me very very proud.
So thank you, Minneapolis, for these last 2.5 years.  You’ve been far better to me than I deserved.  We will miss you.  And to all our friends that we ran beside while we were here, you made the hard times bearable and the good times remarkable.  Thank you, I look forward to seeing each of you very soon.
Much much love,
Qui

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