On September 1st, 2012, I put this baby on a plane to Spain. Yes, THAT Spain, where the rain falls mainly on the plains. lol Now, before you alert CPS, I should tell you that this baby is now 20 years old and a Senior in college. She’s still my baby, though. It’s hard for me to look at her and not see the bright-eyed bundle of cuteness and possibilities in that picture.
In the weeks and days leading up to her departure, I worried myself into a near-paralyzed state. She was fine (even excited, imagine that!) while I was a hot mess. Every Lifetime movie and primetime documentary about American girls going overseas and horrible things happening to them (if they were ever seen again at all) played over and over in my head. When my mother, sister and I dropped her off at the airport, it was all I could do to refrain from recreating the most overacted playhouse theater departure scene you could imagine. Yes, I wanted to fling myself on the floor and grab her legs and beg her not to go, all the while calling on Jesus and any other enlightened beings who wished to intervene on my behalf. It was a rough one for me. I cried all day.
Having come from my fear-filled childhood, it was hard for me to imagine that my child actually could be safe out in the world. What helped me find peace around her leaving was realizing that she has her own intuition, intelligence and common sense to guide her. Not only did she have those intellectual gifts and strengths, but I truly believed that her father would be with her every step of the way. What better guardian angel than your dad? It may seem silly to some, but the thought of my husband watching out for her really did give me solace.
Of course, she had to call me at every check point along the way and we Skype and play Words with Friends regularly, so we’re in almost constant contact. While this separation has been a challenge for us both, I tell her almost every time we talk that I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I am so happy and proud of my little world traveler! I’m glad that her world view has not been limited to Texas. I’m glad that she has friends of various races, religious (or not) backgrounds and sexual preference. I’m glad that her experiences in another country are enriching her life and in turn, enriching mine. I’m proud to be her mama and I wouldn’t take anything for one second less of our time together.
In the blink of an eye, my chubby baby has become a brilliant, accomplished, traveled, kind young woman and that does my heart good. I love you, Bubby!! (Yes, she’s going to cringe with embarrassment at that. lol)