Saturday, March 8, 2014

Optimus Prime Takes Las Vegas.

Many of you saw the Facebook posts, a few commented and liked them and a handful of you asked what the deal was with posting pictures of Optimus Prime from various and often random spots in Las Vegas. So now I will write about the story of Optimus Prime:

Our son Gabe has liked Transformers since he saw his first episode of Transformers: Rescue Bots on Netflix. One day, while walking the toy aisles of the local MegaMart, Gabe happened on these tiny Transformer action figures. I don’t remember which ones we bought first but over time we ended up collecting Heatwave (a firetruck), Chase (a police car), Bumblebee and Optimus Prime. Over the next few months Gabe would ask to bring any combination of those four on trips with us. Gabe loved his Transformers and they have been his travel companions on many excursions, and they are probably in the top 5 of his favorite toys. What started to become apparent was that they were more than just toys to him. They protected him and our family to the point that he went through a few weeks where he insisted that the “boys” watched over all of us sleeping.
A couple of weeks ago, Bec was very ill with a sinus infection, unable to talk and without a voice, we pretty much made her stay in bed. Gabe had Heatwave in is hand, and in the sweetest fashion, he climbed over to his Mama and said, “Here Mama, take Heatwave, he’ll help you feel better.” Hello heartstrings, lets yank on you a bit. Needless to say, a tear was shed by Mama and Daddy. Its what nearly every parent wants to see in their child; a kindness and sensitivity that brings hope that your child is that sweet and generous kid that grows up to be a gentle and happy man (tearing up again as I write). Mama gladly accepted and found herself on the path to recovery just in time for our trip to Vegas. (I hope Bec writes something about her journey, because this Vegas trip was huge for her in her newfound life as an amazing portrait photographer)
The night before we were set to head to Vegas, Bec was talking to Gabe about being gone for a few days and trying to help him understand what we would be doing and how long we would be gone for. Sometimes I think these conversations are really for the sake of us, the parents. Gabe seemed hardly phased by the idea of us being gone for a few days; he was thrilled that he would get to spend uninterrupted days with his “Mom” (his grandmother, Sue) and Coco (their Havanese). I can’t speak for other parents, but this first trip away from our son was so difficult, We’ve never been more than fifty miles away, so there always was that comfort of just knowing we were less than an hour away if anything went wrong. We are so fortunate to have a sitter like “Mom” because Gabe loves her so and they have wonderful times together, and Gabe looks forward to seeing her every time, but when you hand over the most precious person in your life and you say “please, don’t let anything hurt him, don’t let him change while we’re gone, and make sure we come back to the same beautiful boy we’re leaving” you are putting the highest level of trust in someone. That is not easy. So you have that conversation with your three year old, but its mostly for you. During the conversation, Bec asked if she could take Optimus Prime and Bumblebee with us to watch over us on the trip. Gabe said Bumblebee had to stay but it was okay for us to take Optimus.
The morning of the trip, we decided that Optimus would document our trip and we would have a way to share our trip with Gabe. One of his boys would be with his Mama and Daddy and he could share in the trip as well. It wasn’t until we were standing in line at the check in counter at the airport that we truly felt how hard this was going to be to leave Gabe behind, but we decided that Optimus would keep him close to us while we were apart. And so the Optimus journey took place. I hope that you followed it, or maybe just saw a couple along the way. Each time we took them, we felt our son was right there with us, and in many ways he was. Mom would show him the pics as we posted them and then in our evening FacetTime chat we would talk about OPtimus’ adventures. So this is the story of how Optimus Prime became the subject of our photo story. It may be a little goofy, but so is this beautiful mighty family of mine. Whatever we do, it’s quite frequently done with passion and love and laughter. I hope that I can always look in my son’s eyes and let him see how much I love him, but at the very least I want him to know he is never far from my thoughts, even in the Sin City. I love you, my beautiful son.