A thin barely visible line.
It was all it took to turn my life upside down. Forever.
It was a sign. Proof that I was about to become a Mum. From that moment on I would never be the same. I now walk a thin line between fear and joy. Even if birth and constant breastfeeding, clingy baby were tough, it turned out it was nothing compared to the first time I had to say goodbye to my kid.
She never looked back
I am not talking about leaving her at the kindergarten, though I can remember how hard it was to walk away the first time. She made it easy – you’d think I’d love it when she just waved at me and went to play with her new found friends. She never looked back. And she still never does.
I am talking about the time when she stays for a few days with her grandparents or goes on a trip with school. She is just thrilled, while I battle a swirl of contradicting emotions.
A unique person
I have tried since day one to be sane when it comes to my kids and am aware they are nothing out of the ordinary. But I feel that they are the most special people in the world. To me.
Part me, part my husband and part completely incredible, unique.
Yet they are not me, nor mine and I keep reminding myself of that fact, hoping that when they leave, it will be easier.
before they leave
Sometimes it is. There are moments, OK, let’s call it like it is, there are days that I can’t wait for the moment of their departure to arrive.
I wish for one afternoon off. Oh, the things I would do.
Other times the mere thought of them being apart from me is physically throat-constricting, hard-to-breath painful. I can’t even bare to ponder it. And this emotion usually hits on the day they are leaving.
There are a million worst case scenarios going through my head like a speed train. Have I mentioned my imagination is abundant?
Why are they like us, why do they love to travel so much? Why just the mention of the world packing gets them jumping up and down, excited and ready. But then I feel so silly for wishing they’d want to stay. I wouldn’t. I’d wanna go too.
I don’t say or show how I am feeling. They can guess. I walk around the house chasing them with my hugs and kisses and I am silently praying that they will be safe when they are not in our hands.
Entrust them then trust them
You get those little creatures so vulnerable and demanding, my whole life was on standstill for almost two years. It all revolved around them. And I am not complaining. Well, fine I am a little. It is so strange when you have to entrust them into someone else’s capable hands and just hope for the best, nothing you can do about it.
It will be even tougher to let them go on their own. We will. Because we will trust them.
I admire my parents for feeling the same way and yet letting us go, never holding us back.
I too done a brave face and watch my kids board a plane on their own and fly to their grandparents. I have trouble swallowing and my heart beats faster until they land.
It’s not all bad.
Then we get home to an empty house that looks bigger and cleaner and quieter when they are away. But still the pain is there. We call, they smile, they are having a good time. I can relax.
This year the older one went away for a week and we had no way of reaching her or any updates. It was horrible. Until I convinced myself that she is having fun and that I should do the same.
When the pain of their departure lessens, because I trust that all is well and that we will be the first to know if something is amiss, I can see the benefits. And there are many of them. No schedule, not rushing to pick anyone up, no need to cook, no need to read fairy tales for an hour, sit on the playground…. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these things – some more than others – but it is awesome to take a break now and then.
Because three days after they have left, I start to miss them and all the things we do together. I can’t wait for them to come home. I vow I will read them half the library, make only home cooked meals from now on, be on time…
They too come home having missed us, having missed our routine – though they aren’t aware of the latter. And we are all together. For now.
Saying goodbye to my kids hurts, more than saying any other goodbye in the world, but it is essential for all of us. It’s all part of the art of letting go that started with that little barely visible line.