In London it has just turned midnight on 20 November 2017.
We last saw each other at an airport 6 years ago today. I, of course, don’t expect you to remember – how could I as you were still a toddler. The date, however, shall remain with me, as your loving father, forever.
The date coincides with two very different anniversaries. In the UK the Queen and Prince Philip celebrate their wedding anniversary today (their 70th). November 20 also marks the anniversary of the signing in New York in 1989 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (itself signed on the 30th anniversary of adopting of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1959). The 1989 Convention came into force the following year and included the following provisions:
A child whose parents reside in different States shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis, save in exceptional circumstances personal relations and direct contacts with both parents.Article 10, sub section 2.States Parties shall take measures to combat the illicit transfer and non-return of children abroad.Article 11, sub section 1.
These are but two provisions that can be said to relate to us but, as our experience has shown these 6 years, the reality that meets these words is very different.
Earlier this year also saw the passing, on 12 May 2017, of exactly 2,000 days from when I last saw you.
As I did last year, I will leave work early later today to visit the spot at the airport where I last saw you at the time when I last saw you. Also today, as it’s your 9th birthday in 8 days’ time, I will go to the Post Office to send you your birthday package. I will post here again on your birthday, as I always do, and also later today with a more general update about the blog.
I hope and pray that in a year’s time this will all have changed. For now, though, please remember that there is not a moment when I am not thinking about you, my beloved and now not so little boy. May God bless, protect and watch over you this day and all days.