Monday, September 5, 2011

Fly, Baby Bird

No one could have prepared me for how difficult it would be.  I had no way to know how much my heart would ache.

A little over a week ago, my oldest daughter left for Russia.  She will spend four months there, teaching English to young children.  And I miss her so much.

I am not generally an emotional person.  I have even been accused of being Vulcan because I don't get emotional when people think I should.

Because of this, I thought I'd be okay.  I knew I would worry and I would miss her.  I had no idea I'd be a basket case.

She's been planning this trip for over a year.  She's worked so hard to save the money and get everything done.  She's been so grown up in handling the details. 

But she's still my baby.  I don't care if she's twenty years old; she will always be my baby.

The days leading up to her leaving are still kind of a blur.  I was very busy with other things and other children.  That was a blessing.  Because every time I had a minute to think about it my heart would seize up with fear.  And pain.  And loss.

I thought it would get better after I knew she'd arrived safely.  And part of it did.  But there is so much more that still hurts.

Please don't misunderstand.  I am so thrilled that she gets to have this opportunity.  I know it is good for her.  I know it will help her to become an independent adult who will flourish on her own.  And I want that for her.

But my heart hurts.  And I am scared.

I worry that something will happen and she will need help and I won't be there to fix it.  I worry that she will be sad and scared.  I worry that she will get hurt.  And I worry that she will get a taste for adventure and make things like this a regular part of her future.

She needs to choose her own path.  She is so wise and chooses well.  I have to trust that.  But I will admit, I would be happier if she chose to live down the street for the rest of her life.

There was a time at the airport when we had to go our separate ways.  She entered the cattle lines waiting to go through security (after I finally quit hugging her).  We waited and watched.  She would move out of our vision and then, as the line progressed, back into it.  Around and around.  And each time she would look to find us and wave with a big smile on her face.  And we would wave back, letting her know we were still there.  Still watching out for her.

And I thought back to years ago, when she was on the carousel.  She would move out of our sight for a while.  Then when she came back she would wave and we would wave.  Each time she went around we would reconnect, knowing it would be over soon and we would be back together again.

But this time, when the round and round ended, she didn't come back to us.  She flew away.  To the other side of the world.  And my heart breaks missing her.

I trust her.  And I trust that God is watching over her.  But I want her back.

So, fly, baby bird.  Just remember where the nest is.

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16 Comments:

Blogger Towanda said...

Oh gosh Robin, this is such a tear-jerker. She will be back soon though. I remember when my son first left home and how hard it was. You can talk "if you love them, let them go" all you want, but it still hurts.

September 5, 2011 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Oh man! That has to be tough. We want our kids to grow and experience, but at the same time, we don't. Sending you prayers and hugs! Thank God for Technology! Can you facetime or skype?

September 5, 2011 at 4:58 PM  
OpenID leahsthoughts.com said...

Such a beautiful post. And I can so relate! My daughter is only 3, but I'm already dreading the day she goes off to college or moves away to live her own life. Of course, I'll be thrilled for her and her choices. But I already miss her during our hours apart. I can only imagine how your heart is aching right now.

September 5, 2011 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger MaggieJo said...

I don't understand your pain in the slightest. Kindergarten is just not the same. In fact, I'm still working on dealing with the reverse pain. Every now and then I have a meltdown from being so far away from my mom. I miss her I need her. And then I remember, that I can do this. Somehow, someway, I'll be ok, I have to be, because now I'm the mom.

September 6, 2011 at 3:26 AM  
Blogger Stephi said...

Awww man that really was a tearjerker!. I moved to England when I was 20, it was meant to be for just a year but it landed up being nearly four. My Mom had never really seen me as an adult when I came back. I know that she struggled when I left and I can imagine when you have raised a little tiny baby to be a full- grown woman, having been through everything with them it must be heartbreaking having to let go.

She'll be back Miss Robin- have you ever heard that saying, "A son is yours until he finds a wife, a daughter is yours for life"? She will always be your baby girl!

September 6, 2011 at 5:29 AM  
Blogger Katy said...

I'm sorry, dear Robin. I hope it gets easier!

September 6, 2011 at 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Libby said...

You know Miss Robin I've been pondering your post for the last day. As a Mum I can't even imagine what it must be like to send your baby overseas. It's what you prepare them for but I'm sure that doesn't make it any easier. You've also given me a renewed appreciation for my parents and how easy they made it for me to go to Japan for a year at the age of 18. I hope she has an amazing time and she'll be back in the nest before you know it. Thinking of you.

September 7, 2011 at 3:25 AM  
Blogger Louise Ducote said...

Lovely post; made me glad mine are still little!

October 14, 2011 at 4:48 AM  
Anonymous Kimberly at Rubber Chicken Madness said...

I can't imagine one of my boys going that far away, but college is just around the corner, and if I know Thing One like I think I know Thing One, I won't see much of him during those years.

All I can do (and I'll bet you already figured this out for yourself) is to hope and pray that I've taught him well enough that he'll fly.

October 14, 2011 at 5:28 AM  
Anonymous Cristina said...

Ahhh. I will no-doubt be there one day and it is a day I dread.

October 14, 2011 at 6:54 AM  
Anonymous Joanne said...

I have tears in my eyes and my baby is only 6! If you were close when she left, you will always be. Don't worry. It is your love and support that hold her up when she flies. And she feels that. Happy SITS day!

October 14, 2011 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger The Lovely One said...

Oh, that makes me so sad to think about my own little girl leaving! But it's also so exciting for her! And I'm sure you still write/call/skype, so you're keeping in touch!

October 14, 2011 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger gianna said...

When we have our babies, no one ever mentioned that our hearts would ache (whether out of joy or sadness) for the rest of our lives! And yet it is the ache of blessing and love!

October 15, 2011 at 12:56 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

You make me want to rush into my oldest's room, wake her, and squeeze her to death. Because I think she will be much like your oldest. I'm so thankful she's not quite 5 yet.

October 16, 2011 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Susan in the Boonies said...

We are moving toward this transition in our lives. I wish you all the best!

October 17, 2011 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Charlotte said...

Awww, this is such a beautiful post. I remember when I spent a semester abroad (at my mother's urging, I might add!) and how torn up she was when I finally made it on the plane. I never expected she would take it so hard but in hindsight, that WAS the best experience of my life and I'm forever grateful that I had the opportunity to do that.

She will return with many stories to tell. You will always be her momma and she loves and misses you dearly.

Hang in there and congrats on your SITS day!

October 18, 2011 at 11:33 AM  

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