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Wednesday, May 30, 2012


So last week was a big deal.

A big deal for me.

My son took his first trip without us, and according to my anxiety levels, this was a very big deal.

Just when I think I've got this parenting thing down, my parents inform me that for my son's 13th birthday , they would like to plan a trip with him.  On every level, this is a wonderful, generous and amazing idea.  So why does it feel like someone is ripping my heart out?

They decided on The Grand Canyon.  Once plans came together, the three of them would be landing in Las Vegas, driving to The Hoover Dam, and then off to The Grand Canyon.  They would then head back to Vegas, go to The Gold and Silver Pawn Shop ( from Pawn Stars on TV, my son loves that show) and see The Blue Man Group.  Amazing trip, I was jealous!

I took my son aside at the beginning of the week and told him that no matter how I was acting emotionally, I was  freaking the f*&% out thrilled for him. I knew he would be safe and have the trip of a lifetime.  I told him that even though I knew it would be fine, it was still the first time and it was a milestone I had to go through.  I assured him that there would be many other milestones I would be freaking out about, so by the time he gets married he'll be immune to it.

To make things a little more complicated, my husband was away for work.  I originally thought that I wouldn't have been as emotional if he had been home, but I think we all know that's not the case.  I actually think I was a little stronger, if he had been here, he would have been strong and I would have been completely free to fall apart. 

I also didn't want him to see me upset when he was leaving.  I was actually really proud of how I was handling myself when my dad came to pick him up, I didn't count on my sweet sentimental daughter sending me over the edge.

She had been so sweet to him all week.  She was so excited for him.  Then as he was about to get in the car with my dad, she says, "Goodbye J, I'll always remember how much I love you."

It was sincere and sweet, but had this "final" vibe around it that tapped into the deepest darkest fears I had been stuffing down all week.  I felt the lump in my throat, tears welling up...this was going to get ugly.

I think she knew.  I don't know how, at 7, you could know, but I think even she knew that it sounded sad and final.  She turned around, eyes big and filling with tears the second I picked her up she broke down.

We hastily waved goodbye to my dad and son and I took her in to comfort her.  She cried for such a long time.  I guess the good thing was, I knew exactly how she felt.  I didn't have to reassure her too much , I just had to let her cry it out until all the anxiety went away. 

It also put me in the position of being the strong one.  Imagine that. 

Now that he's home and I've heard how amazing the trip was, it seems like a lifetime ago that I was all worked up about this.  I knew I could do it,  but I still had to get through it.  Hmmm, that sounds a little Suess-y, but you get what I mean. 


Christine said...

oh my. You just about had me crying with this post. I could feel your emotions letting J leave. And your daughters reaction, don't know how you held it together. Although the girls haven't gone anywhere far, I can only imagine I will have those same feelings and reactions. I just hope I end up being as strong as you were through it all.

So glad he had such a good time and what memories for him to have with his grandparents. So sweet!

Amy said...

You should totally write a children's book entitled, "I knew I could do it, I just had to get through it."

We could collaborate!!