Wednesday, September 22, 2010
My ‘umbilical cord’ is stretched a little far for the next couple of days. You see, I’ve never really properly cut that cord. I like to think of it more as a bungee cord. They can try to get far but they will always bounce back to me. My children have never been the kids that ‘go away to camp’. They do not visit grandma, alone, in the summers. They rarely spend the night at friend’s houses. I pretty much know where my kids are and what they are doing (generally) 24/7. They like it that way, and so do I. All of our trips are with each other. Their friends come to our house on the weekends, because I like to think that my house is the most fun. They frequently text me throughout the day to make sure an event is remembered, or a plan is made. Sometimes they just text and say, ‘luv u xoxoxo’ (those are the best texts). I still remind them that they need to shower, and brush their teeth, and call their dad, and do their homework, and come down for dinner, breakfast, snack, etc. Sure, they know how to do this stuff, but I just like to remind them that their mom is on top of things…or maybe that their mom is still needed. I struggle through the eye rolls, and the door slams, the ‘whatevers’, and the ‘leave me alones’. That is part of being a mom; a good mom. But, I don’t leave them alone; at least not for too long…So naturally a ‘school overnight trip’ sent shivers down my spine; much like my daughter’s first prom, Ashley’s horse jumping; driving with friend’s to school. I spent the last four days packing my little one, my ‘Sugar Lump’, for his school trip. What would he need? What would he forget to do if I’m not around? How do I fit ALL the years of parenting and guiding into one duffle bag for a three day trip? If I could have I would have typed out step by step instructions on what he should do each day, what should happen in an emergency, what to do if he’s hungry, has to go to the bathroom, can’t sleep. I unpacked and re-packed his bag with him; I called it a ‘dry run’ for when he’s really camping with his school. He hated EVERY MINUTE OF IT. We practiced getting in the sleeping bag at night, how the luggage will come out of the carousel at the airport, where the Benadryl and batteries are located, how to carry all the stuff when he gets there. It was more for me than for him, and I think we both knew it! Can this person survive without me was all that was echoing through my head. The bag represented me and all that I provide for him. All those painful growing up steps that are so necessary is often so hard on the Mom. From the first day at preschool, the first team game, the first sleepover, the first concert, the first sporting event, I’ve led him through every step of the way so that he never was fearful or unprepared. He thinks I’m crazy. He thinks I’m ‘such a mom’. His sisters have been great about telling him how much fun he will have and settled my fears as well. So, as it was, I WAS the last mom to leave the airport and wave goodbye. I DID watch him until he was just a tiny speck going through security so he would KNOW that I was there. He DID turn to see if I was there at that very last second...and I WAS…I didn’t let him down….he DID make a gesture that resembled a ‘scoot’ or ‘go away’ motion...well, it could have been a wave…maybe. …My daughter said, “I think he will have fun, but I think he will cry at night”! WHAT?? Not the words I want to hear. Why? Because he misses me, he’s scared, he’s hungry? Maybe all three??!!! A writer, Elizabeth Stone said, “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body”. Well, my little heart in on an airplane, bus, and then a boat right now. Probably having the time of his life. Exactly what I want him to have. I jammed a little note deep inside his duffle bag that says ‘I love you. Love, Mommy’ and a tootsie roll. I hope he reads it when he gets ready for bed…at least I’ll know he has a little something in his tummy …. At least I will have the peace of mind knowing that even though he grows up and experiences his own life, the umbilical cord is never too stretched for a random ‘I love you’……a little bit of candy to sweeten the thought….
- ► 2011 (11)