I think I have a problem with living too much on paper. Once, when I was in Grad school and my children were 6 and 4 years old respectively, I saw an empty space in my calendar. I had class Monday to Friday morning, and my husband’s vernissage that night as well as an invitation to an Eid celebration from a neighbour but Friday afternoon was free. Perfect time for a gum graft! I could just scoot over to the dentist’s office, get a piece of my palette removed and glued on to my gum and then pick up the kids from school and head over to the celebration before getting the kids ready for bed and their babysitter and going to the vernissage. Perfect!
Yeah. Not so much.
What I forgot to factor in was the INTENSE PAIN of getting a piece of your mouth cut out.
Well, the same kind of unreality hit me last week when J and I watched our kids run through security and to their gate to board a plane. In my head it made sense- the kids are old enough to travel by themselves (heck, I traveled by myself when I was their age) and they have a bunch of family that are only too happy to take them for a month. I have to work the whole time and can only make it to Victoria for a couple of weeks. The kids are happy to spend as much time with their cousins as possible and I can go to work without feeling bad about not being at home. Perfect right?
Except for fact that MY KIDS ARE NOT GOING TO BE HERE FOR A MONTH. Seriously. The emotional fall back did not hit me until I saw them disappear beyond security. And the worry- the sickening worry that was akin to that first day of kindergarten for my oldest (I honestly can’t remember my youngest’s first day- how bad is that?), when we watched her traipse in a line into a large prison-like building without us.
It wasn’t that I didn’t have full confidence in my children’s ability to take the plane alone- I did. It is just that there were so manu external variables that could go wrong.
What if they miss their plane? (They almost did because of me not being able to use the check-in machines)
What if their plane is delayed and they miss their connecting flight and are stuck in Toronto? (Which they almost did too as their plane did not land in time due to thunderstorms- they had to run to their next gate and get in line as their next flight was already boarding)
What if they get lost in the airport and don’t find their gate? (They didn’t- a nice lady showed them where to go)
AAAgh. And then J and I got home and there were no little sleeping bodies in kids’ rooms to tip toe around, no child to creep up behind us and kiss us good morning. And we both sat in our home which seemed to have gotten bigger and emptier- kind of echo-y- since we had left an hour before. And our hearts were in our guts and we didn’t know what to do with ourselves.
What were we thinking? A whole month?
I want my children back now.