This morning, I woke up at 3am. My first thought was "Hey, what a great time to pay bills!" and then I agreed with myself.
Yeah, so that's how the day started. I paid bills, then I hovered, playing games, watching Sword Art Online, until I managed to bother my husband enough to get up with me. We changed the guinea pigs blankets and I hovered some more.
I started to wonder if I could REALLY do it. If I could let go long enough to let Talon walk away from me. I made him some eggs and toast, but none of us really ate much. We made sure he had packed everything, was dressed appropriately, had his paperwork, and then we got ready to get into the car. We went from this:
To the airport where he checked in, his monkey in his backpack. He did fine on his own at the desk.
and then another photo.
We ate a bit, but I didn't eat very much. I had waves of nausea mixed with a vague suspicion in the back of my brain that there was something very wrong about this situation. I held it off with promises of chocolate and ice cream. And then his Rotary officer Barbara joined us in saying goodbye to him. I am immensely grateful to these wonderful people who helped make this happen for him.
And then it was time. I hugged and kissed him, watched him go through security.....
One last wave, and he walked away through the crowd to his gate. And then my brain realized that the promises of chocolate and ice cream were all bullshit. I had just allowed my little boy to walk further away from me than he'd ever been. 7,416 miles according to Google.
The first 30 miles home were hell. All the way to our favorite restaurant my brain screamed full volume. "YOU JUST LEFT YOUR INFANT SON AT THE AIRPORT AND YOU HAVE TO GO BACK FOR HIM!!!!!"
Which of course isn't true. He's not an infant. He doesn't need minding like a child. He's 16, he's fine. But my brain doesn't believe that. It pulled every emotional trick in the book to get me to go back, and I kept driving. This of course led to comfort eating. Not the promised chocolate and ice cream, but it was enough. I made it home.
Now I can drink beer in my underwear, eat popcorn all day, and have the knowledge that my home is safe from Windows for a whole year as well as my wallet because I don't have to buy endless bags of rice and noodles to feed a growing teenager. I did it. I let go. I was a good mom.