Today is a happy day! My big boy is turning 17. But it is also a very hard day. For me. Because it is the first time I can not be with him to celebrate. Because I’m half a world away. It is the first time ever in my life that I’m not home for a family birthday. To be where the job that pays the bills requires me to be was the only rational decision. We face-timed while back at home he blew out the candles on his birthday cake and unwrapped his presents before going to school. While video phoning home I was already in bed ready to go to sleep after a long workday in Portland. Where I was it wasn’t even his birthday yet due to the 9h time difference. I was there but I was not there. Virtual hugs and kisses are not the same. Happy Birthday, Daniel! Love you, kiddo!