on the nashville|charlotte life balance.

after luca was born, it felt heartbreaking and impossible that i had to leave, that my life was 400 miles away from his. it crushed me to think he would grow up into a life i couldn't be part of on a daily basis.

that's what i was thinking about as we snuggled one last time before i left for the first time after meeting him. 

how on earth am i going to have the strength to walk away?

it felt incredibly unfair, but that was my life. i had to walk away, but i was determined to find a way to still be part of his life to the extent that i could know him, and he could know me, as seamlessly as possible.

i didn't want to just watch from afar or know facts about him, i wanted to be part of it. i wanted to know details like, how frequently he ate and how much, which position was his favorite to be in when i held him, and that he liked to be sung to sleep, even if it was off key. i wanted to know everything, by being around him, by doing them, by not having to be told.

and so, i decided on monthly weekend trips, instead of longer but less frequent trips, because that way i get to see a small window of who he is each month.

it's worked out pretty well so far. not only was i able to be there for big milestones, like the morning he was born and holidays and birthdays, i also got to be there for moments like, when T dropped him off in the nursery at church for the first time and when he got his first hair cut and when he found his belly button while having a shirtless dance party in the living room.

i never feel like i'm missing out on too much because i get to experience it, even if only for a day and a half.

i'm close enough to where i can do these monthly weekend trips, but at the same time, it also feels not close enough.

on one hand, visiting once a month doesn't feel like a big deal when you consider how much you love your people, and everything i just said.

but on the other hand, visiting once a month feels like a significant amount of time away when you consider that you're leaving your life and your community so you can be part of someone else's. it's always worth the visit, but on more than one occasion, i have found myself wondering, where do you live?

it's not just about where i am, physically. it's a mental and emotional transition each time i travel back and forth from nashville to charlotte. in the beginning especially, it was a struggle to figure out how to put down roots and settle into a life in a place i was always leaving.

but that's what it is to live far away from your people, from your nephew. it's a constant struggle, a constant push and pull, a constant debate on when to stay and when to go, and how much is enough when nothing ever really feels like enough.

it's a tough balancing act, and i don't always get it right. some months, i decide not to make the trip at all. some months, i decide to make it anyway, even though work is busy and my trip will have to be cut short, because luca can give high fives and i can't wait another month to get one.

i'm still figuring it out. i'm still making mistakes. i'm still trying to find the balance.