Do you know what I did yesterday?
I got up at 5:30am, showered, made honey lunch, cooked breakfast for the family, said goodbye to Miss C as she headed off to work at 8:00 and then...
Packed up Mr. J, drove him to the airport, watched as he checked his luggage, and put him on a plane headed for the Czech Republic...
While driving to the airport I kept thinking:
What the HELL am I doing?
At the check in counter I wondered:
What the HELL am I doing?
As Mr. J began his adventure through airport security my mind shouted:
What the HELL are YOU doing?! Get out of line and back in the car...THIS MINUTE!
I said simply (with NO tears), "Have a good trip. I'll see you in two weeks. I love you," and turned and walked away. He did not see my tears. He does not know that I felt like throwing up all day. I allowed him to be the cool dude in front of his buddies and I didn't embarrass him. Which means, I must be out of my flippin' mind!
I burst into tears the minute my husband stepped in the door, I couldn't seem to focus on anything, I felt like eating everything in site (but I wasn't hungry- I did manage to keep this under control, by the way!) and I kept looking at the clock and seeing how many hours he has left on the plane.
When my eyes began to droop I decided to head to bed. I was going to read for awhile, but then Miss C came in to chat. She was her usual bubbly 13-year-old self, telling me about her day at the zoo with the kids she babysits. Laughing, she recalled how she had changed the 18-month-olds diaper on one of those fold down changing tables in the restroom. Seems the little girl was having tons of fun hopping up and down on the changing table while Miss C tried to get her pants pulled up over her diaper. I smiled, but inside I wasn't thinking about that silly little red-headed girl, bouncing on the springy changing table. Nope. I was thinking about Mr. J and the ocean, land masses, and 9 hours that are separating us.
I slept fitfully all night. Each time I woke up I'd look at the clock and try to figure out where he was on his journey. At 5:15 the alarm went off and I simply rolled over and ignored it. At 6:30 my hubby came in and asked if I was getting up. Growling I sat up and then I remembered! There might be an email from Mr. J!!!!!!
Bouncing down the hall, stomach in a knot, I turned on the computer. Somewhere in my brain the thought echoed that it would be too soon for an email. If their flight arrived in Frankfurt at 8:35 and they had a four hour layover, he would have just arrived in Prague an hour or so ago. But, like a woman possessed, I stared into the blue light of my HP.
Have you ever noticed how SLOW computers truly are?
At long last I was in and I had nine new emails! Hurray! I quickly scanned my inbox. Hmm, mostly junk. Then I thought, it could have gone straight to my junk mail box, so I checked there. It would be logical for an email from Europe to go straight to junk mail...Only it was empty.
So, I began reading through my email. My good friend Mrs. P had sent me pictures of the team leaving yesterday. They were good photos but the last one caught me off guard. Needless to say, I instantly burst into tears. (If I could figure out how to get the pic from email - no it won't save properly or download into a file - I would publish it here).
In the pic sat my sons friend Mr. S in the driver seat and my boy Mr. J in the passenger seat. They were preparing to head to the airport. They are both so young and excited to be traveling to Europe.
I feel like throwing up. I'm an emotional wreck and frankly, I am not certain I will be alive when he returns in two weeks. I must have been out of my flippin' mind to allow my 16-year-old son to travel to Prague. I am an idiot!
What do you think happened? I got an email from the team! They have arrived safely, with all their luggage, and are exhausted! The flew over Canada and Greenland and never saw the sun set. Amazing. The fact that not one of team got more than a few hours sleep has not dampened their spirits. They checked out the McDonalds in the Frankfurt airport and did a bit of window shopping. Knowing Mr. J, who loves to shop, he purchased stuff too!
So, here I sit, glad that my boy is safe. I still am wondering what on earth I was thinking to let him go. My stomach is still in knots and I have this sneaking hunch that I'm going to be pretty anxious for the next two weeks. Maybe I should cut back on the coffee?
Am I out of my mind? Some would shake their head sadly and say yes. Others might remind me how wonderful this experience is for Mr J and of the importance of the work he'll be doing. He is somewhere I have never been and will be meeting new people and seeing new places. For him this is the trip of a lifetime.
For me, the mommy, it is a growing experience. For the next two weeks, I will be learning about letting go and trusting more in God. After all, Mr J is a really great kid, straight arrow, wise beyond his years. This is his time to stretch and my time to flex.
So, if you see some lunatic at the airport, wringing her hands and desperate for a flight to Prague, simply hand her a Kleenex and a venti, non-fat, sugar-free vanilla, latte, and guide her to a quiet place to rest. She is after all, only a mother, learning to let go.