So we took our baby girl to the airport today and did the whole group photos, lots of kisses and hugs and sharing thoughts and don’t forgets and call me or text and all that good stuff.
We wished her well and stood anxiously waiting behind the black wall, watching her go through security until we couldn’t see her anymore. And then we left. No tears, actually! I was proud of myself. Maybe I worked through the anxiety yesterday and was ready and prepared today. Maybe.
I am happy for her.
I am proud of her.
I am okay.
What made me sad and anxious was realizing that I’ve done my job and that she’s flying away. Not literally, as in flying to Japan, but she’s flying the nest. She’s got the hang of this life thing and she’s confident, strong, independent, courageous and curious and kind. She’s everything I’ve always wanted her to be. And she’s still young. I wasn’t expecting this to all come together like this, right here, right now. And so it is.
I came home from the airport and just sat still. I didn’t know what to do with myself. There was nothing I wanted to do and everything I could do and yet I did nothing. I ate some leftovers, not because I was really hungry, but because food is my anti-anxiety drug of choice. I looked at Facebook and created a FrameMagic collage and posted an update from the moments just passed. I practiced using SnapChat and chatted with Juliana while she waited another 2 hours before her plane departed.
I sat and waited with her yet in my living room. She asked me what I was doing and I told her I was waiting with her. She asked if I was going to sit still for 11 hours too, the same time she would be sitting for the duration of her flight. I told her no way, that wasn’t possible and she laughed. She also told me she was only going to be gone for 240 hours and asked if I was going to sit and wait for her too, and I said absolutely not. 240 hours sounds a lot shorter than 10 days. She made me laugh.
Kristin invited me over for a visit and I was thankful that she got me out of the house. I needed to do something and I enjoyed her company and conversation. I continued texting Juliana until her flight took off. It was fun to stay connected and I’m anxiously awaiting her next text around midnight tonight, letting me know she landed. All is well.
I called my mom this afternoon, and the first thing she said to me was, “So, do you feel lost?” And I said, “Yes!! That’s exactly how I feel. How did you know? I didn’t even know that was what I was feeling, but yes. I feel lost.” She said that’s how she felt when I left to go to Australia when I was 12 years old!! I so get her. She is one brilliant woman. I am so glad she was brave enough to let me go. She shaped my spirit for adventure and wanderlust and I have now shared this with my kids.
I’m okay feeling a little lost.
This is real and it’s normal and she’s fine and I’m fine. I am vulnerable and just a little lost – like I don’t know what to do with her not here and not having to pick her up or make her lunch or make her gluten-free dinners or take her here nor there. She’s okay and I’m okay – it’s just different and we’re growing up. Both of us.
Laurie called today to check on me and several friends and family texted to see how I was feeling and to wish Juliana well. I am grateful, especially to Laurie who could see me and my anxiety and reached out, despite her own feelings of loss. How did she do that? I am in awe of her, always. She’s one strong woman who I admire so much.
The sisterhood of motherhood is strong in my village.
I don’t feel so lost anymore. I can’t wait to hear all the stories about adventures in Japan! Have fun, baby girl and live it up!!
Carry on, BeLoveRs!!