Monday, July 13, 2009

Caitlin's Big Adenture: Blast Off!

Caitlin left on Saturday afternoon, in the kindly care of her Uncle Ian. He and I don't always get along, but I can't tell you how much it meant to me that he jumped up and flew to NY with her just because it was the right thing to do. The cockles of my heart were appropriately warmed.

Really.

Since we had plenty of time, we spent a leisurely morning getting ready. There was some tickling,

some smooching,

some smooch withholding,

and some crazy faces.

In the end, however, someone was getting on an airplane and that someone wasn't going to be me. So we packed up this girl

and her gear and drove her to the airport.

We chatted about all the fun things she'd be doing while we were at home with the twins (Zoo trips! BBQs! Acquariums! Amusement parks!) and I did a pretty good job of keeping my tone light and happy.

However...when the time came to hug her and send her through security, I had a hard time letting go. Tears filled my eyes and love/fear/worry/happiness squeezed my heart as I hugged Caitlin one last time. I kissed her and with a throaty "I love you!", I sent her off while stuffing down the tears. I didn't want her to see me visibly upset and start off a firestorm of crying on her part.

Blinking rapidly, I took Emma back from Ian (both babies wanted to check out the weather from his lofty height) and sent her on her way.

While she has been away from home before, and for several weeks at a time, she's never been this far away from us. It was tough. Even though the possibility of something happening to her is remote, somehow letting her go that far away makes everything feel more momentous. As if every moment is a potential "last". As hard as it is being a parent, I think the "growing up" moments are harder emotionally than the fights. Each step forward towards independence is yet another step away from us and the relative safety of childhood.

Even as I recognize its inevitability, it's hard on the heartstrings. My baby isn't really a baby any more. She's an intrepid traveler and her adventure is just beginning.

All systems go for launch!

7 comments:

Scylla said...

What a gorgeous traveler she is! She is going to have some great stories to tell on her return.

Hugs to the mama missing her girl.

Dawn said...

What an adventurous traveler she is! Caitlin looked at the big rides at Coney Island and joyfully asked to ride them. Unfortunately she was 4" too short for the Cyclone, but she was just the right height for the WonderWheel, Thunderbolt, Super Shot, and Saturn 6 on the adult rides. There were also kiddie rides like the Bumble Bees, swings, motorcycles, teacup dragons, Himalaya, Frog Hopper and a few others.

Proud Auntie is so proud!

Tracee said...

How fabulous that she has such a wise, brave mother, who sees the importance of letting her grow into herself, and gain the confidence of traveling without parents. As hard as it is, she knows that there will always be someone waiting for her when she is done with her adventures, no matter what.

Cousin Janet from NY said...

Lay your cares aside, Mama. Your little Caitlin is fast asleep in my big fluffy bed, with Lexie, our German Shepherd laying next to her.
We just finished reading about a dozen books to each other & I am repeatedly astonished at her reading level, vocabulary, spelling and even math. Plus the amount of knowledge she has acquired at such a tender age. But my favorite trait of all is her warm, silly, hugging & sharing with everyone. Tomorrow my husband has arranged that I do not have to go to work at the station for one full day, & we are going to THE BRONX ZOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yay!!!!!!! OK let me join her in bed now so we will have lots of energy for our zoo adventure!!! She is happy & well-loved here so do not worry even the teensiest bit.

Jennifer H said...

You made me all choked up here...Was thinking about if I was sending my girl off on a plane.

Those pictures are so sweet!

Cousin Janet From NY said...

Sadly, Caitlin left me tonite & we all miss her already. The zoo was great but so were the everyday things, like coming to work with me a few hours a day, & coming with me to visit my M-I-L in the nursing home. I sent a bunch of photos to Tracy's email cuz I don't know how, or even if it's possible, to send them to the blog.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Thanks everyone!

Jennifer: I highly recommend shipping out one's children. Oh the things they'll learn away from home! Woo!

Thanks to Dawn and Janet for showing Caitlin a FANTASTIC time. Man, she wouldn't see 3 zoos, an aquarium AND an amusement park all in one week at home, that's for certain!

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