Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Mom's Work is Never Done

I love to type and Blogging can give me a rush like nothing else. The smooth feel of the keys beneath my fingers except for the tiny bumps on J and F to keep me on home while I'm typing in the dark because my husband type guy, "Ye Old Matey", is sleeping and what he calls my "angry typing" will wake him soon enough.

I must admit that when I type fast and loud, it's usually because I'm debating some all-important point about politics or deodorant out in cyberspace. Even when I'm not defending the merits of unscented versus everything else, I type pretty fast and I have never learned how to keep a keyboard silent. I learned back in the days of electric typewriters where you had to smack every key with the force of an anvil to get a letter out and that habit continues today. Playing the piano also requires a variety of touches and sometimes force, but playing in public still leaves me nervous and shaking. Typing is a comforting movement where I can get the words out nearly as fast as they sing into my mind. No matter how quiet or slow I try to be, eventually I'm playing my on sonata on the keys and eventually I wake HIM up. Oh, well, he needed to get up anyway. I know I said I'd walk the dogs but if they whine long enough, he'll do it and I won't have to.

My last blog entry is dated March 26. Prior to that I was at least blogging every week or so, mainly updating on Fridays. And even though March 26 doesn't seem that long to me, I've gotten some very pointed emails all asking me pretty much the same polite question: "What the hell in real life can be so important that you don't write anything for two weeks?"

On Friday, April 7 my life flipped upside down. The frantic, busy schedule I've been living through for the past two weeks was forgotten in an instant.

My daughter "Arabella" and her friend "Ashley" were walking home from school Friday afternoon. Ashley mentioned that she was going to New Jersey to visit her mother for the week of Spring Break. And Arabella says, "Aw, I wish I could go with you." Ashley, for whatever reason, takes her seriously and says, "OK."

On Saturday, I get a call at work from my husband type guy, Ye Old Matey, to find out what he should cook for dinner and as a parting aside mentioned, "Arabella's friend wants to take her to New Jersey." We both laugh and make "Jersey Girl" movie jokes (all praises to Kevin Smith).

Our laughter was short lived. Ashley's mom as it turns out is "exceedingly generous" and was more than willing to buy Arabella a plane ticket on Ashley's flight even though Ashley was leaving - get this - the next day (Sunday). Ashley doesn't like to fly and she would be happier having a friend on the flight. They were more than happy to host Arabella for a week and give her a tour of New York. Between the Mom and the full time Nanny the girls would be supervised 24 hours a day. Ashley's Dad met Ye Old Mate and myself at our house when I got off work and assured me that the girls would be fine and he also thought the trip was a good idea.

After I picked my jaw up from the floor, we had a calm frenzy of parental conversations (in person from Ashley's dad and Ashley's mom by cell phone), the moment of capitulation "Well, I guess it's not such a bad idea and when will they be back?" which happened around 6pm in the evening. My plans had been to go to the $2 movie and come home sleepy and exhausted and planning more spontaneous spring break fun with my kid.

Well it's a good thing I'd planned on being sleepy and exhausted. I spent a frantic evening hair washing and braiding until 2 a.m. (learn how to do your child's hair while they're asleep when they're young, it pays off in spades later), several rounds of laundry, sewing and packing until 4 a.m. I slept for a brisk four hours, got up at 8 and went back to sewing, packing and matching socks from the dryer.

Despite my mother's constant "Are you sure you want to let her do this?" and Ye Old Matey's approving silence (I can just tell) I put my daughter on a plane to Newark on Sunday afternoon.

It was not my first time putting her on a plane, but my daughter was headed off to New York City, a place I still haven't been.

Yet, I let her go.

It seems I'm destined to put her on a plane to every major American city as least once before she's 18. Her first plane trip was to Chicago to visit her "Other Dad" (biological Dad), now she's off to New York and it seems Los Angeles and San Francisco may be in the works for 2007. And even America's not big enough; she wants to take Japanese for the next four years with a goal of visiting Japan when she graduates from high school.

It's almost more than my heart can take, this business of letting go and sending my daughter to venture out into the world without me. Of smiling and waving cheerily and even pushing her a little to board a plane and watch it take off with the very breath of my life on board. Waiting for the smile that's plastered on my face to fade after a few hours while my heart slowly breaks. Why oh why did I nudge her in the direction of the plane when all I wanted to do was grab her, hold her close to me and never, ever, let go?

I find that time ticks by very slowly without her. Although thanks to the miracle of cell phones, scarcely a few hours have gone by that I haven't actually spoken to her, it's not the same. Even though I'm really pissed at T-Mobile right now, I have declared a cease-fire in my vendetta against them until she returns.

Luckily I do have some other things to fill my time while she's gone. I still have to go to work every day. I'm also an American and it just so happens that I have an entire Democratic Republic to help fix before it goes to hell in hand basket. I could focus on all the national scandals, namely the pedophile working at the head Homeland Security (good grief!) but there are also battles on the local front to be fought and won. I'm still working on the Dumas campaign to elect her to the office of Hamilton County Commissioner and there's our local newspaper that's just begging to be boycotted (along with their advertisers).

I guess if I'm going to send my daughter out into the world, I can keep busy making it a better place for her to be.

What else is a mother to do?


  1. It seems to me that you are doing more then just enough. Enjoy the journey.


  2. She will have a fabulous time!

    My 2 oldest kids will be going to New York this summer to visit their grandparents, and I have those same feelings about putting them on a plane and sending them so far away.

  3. I counld not let my kid go!! You go MOM!!

  4. You are amazing. I know that in the distant-but-coming-too-fast future I will aslo have to let go. It's a tough thought. Remembering that you're raising an adult, not a child. It makes me think of that Regina Belle song "If I Could" -- makes me cry every time.

    Anyway, if you have the time, TAG - you're it!


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