Today as I am snotting and sobbing and sobbing and snotting, my daughter is hunching her shoulders and rolling her eyes.
She is clearly embarrassed. Me. I’m oblivious to any eyes around me—well, except for the airport security guard. I was a pretty big scene. But I was hoping he sees exchanges like this often. If not, then I’ll make for a good “story of the day” when he goes home.
Anyway—no matter how much I clutched onto her little 7-year-old frame and cried on top of her head, she had to pull away (I think she pulled away a little too gladly) and cross that threshold into adventure—and mommy-less-ness. She left me alone.
Well, I still have my bouncy belly. I still have my 1-year-old. So I guess I’m not truly alone.
But I kept waving at her anyway, as if she HAD left me alone. “Bye, baby! I love you!”
If I thought her eyes were rolling before, she was now verbally adding to the eye roll, “Moooooom! I am NOT your baby!”
And through my snot and tears and wiping my nose, I replied, “You were my first baby! I’ll always love you!”
Good grief…The 7-year-old could not get away from me fast enough! She gladly followed her daddy down the security gangplank and walked out of my sight.
But I stayed glued to that sliver of a window that they allow for family left behind. And every time I spied her I hollered, “Adelyne! I love you!” And 50 air kisses and 50 I-Love-You hand motions would follow.
Even behind the glass it appeared as if I embarrassed her.
Ah well. At least my husband was with her. And he was glad to throw me 50 kisses back and 50 more I-Love-You hand signals.
And, when he gave her that look, “You better appease your Momma” look, she reluctantly blew me a few kisses (I think I got 3) and one I-Love-You hand motion back.
Then they were gone.
But that didn’t stop me 🙂
Oh heavens no! They still had to make it to the plane.
So on the phone I go, “Adelyne! Adelyne! I love you. Are you having fun? Will you miss me?”
And I hear her sigh.
But that’s okay, because I’ll interpret it as a “loving” sigh-although I know I’m fooling myself.
You see—as much as I sometimes hate to admit it.
My daughter is me.
And I am her.
She is ready for a life of adventure. And, yes, she’ll miss me—but she’s also HAPPY to be leaving me behind. If only for a little while.
It courses through her veins. And she has that itch.
I had the same itch.
And it brought me to a university away from home (at least for a year—until I returned home and met a handsome man ;)).
Today may only be about a month-long-adventure. Africa (South Africa and Botswana), Norway, and Poland…But, for me, today is about the first day of the rest of her life.
Because I see her. I know her. I was her.
I was once 7. I was once 18. I was once also able to go, freely, into the world…Sighing as my own mom hugged me tight and snotted and sobbed and sobbed and snotted.
But that’s okay. Because if I know her…like I know me…life will be an adventure. But I will always be her home!
After all, I am her momma. And she is my baby!
Forever my baby she’ll be…