For those people who know me, it should come as no surprise to hear that I like to be in control of my surroundings. I’m not saying that everything has to be perfect or make people meet some excruciatingly high standards. At least I don’t think I do.
So today, when I had to watch my beloved husband and daughters walk through security to get on a plane to go visit my husband’s family on the East Coast, it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done– and surprisingly so — not because I’m not in control or anything, but because it is a true test of how well Chris and I have raised our children so far. Would they behave on the flight? In the airport?
I stood at the opening to the security line at the airport, watching anxiously as the girls prepared for the scan. At that point I realized that it was almost like the first day of school all over: They were so excited about this journey (they haven’t been on a plane in recallable memory) that all their focus was on what lay before them. They are safe with Daddy, I reminded myself. And with that, I turned to leave.
It seemed like the longest possible walk to the car, because most of my heart got on that plane. I decided to take a nice, long drive to sort things out — and because it’s something I can’t really do with the girls without the “are we there yet” cries. I ended up driving over 250 miles today, got to see my brother, and did a little shopping. Somewhere along the way, I found the beginnings of peace with the situation.
The biggest reward, though, was the phone call that came at 8:30: Mom! We’re here, and we just picked out which room we’re sleeping in, and we had the best fun, and, and, and… They were so excited to tell me about every little detail of their trip, and their excitement jumped through the phone lines. From all reports, they were perfectly behaved throughout the flight and everything. After a long, sweet chat with the girls and in-laws, my husband and I said our goodnights.
The peace is more complete now. Do I miss them? Only like most of my heart is absent. But I’m going to allow myself to loosen the reins and relax, to take care of me for a few days, and to give them the present of a refreshed Mommy when they return. For the time being, I have done my best to raise them, and they are sweet and smart.
As I breathe in the blessedly cool evening air, that is enough.