The boys left this morning on a plane to visit my parents on the east coast. It's the first time they've been away from me for over three days or so and their first trip on an airplane as unaccompanied minors. They'll be gone for just over a week. When they boarded the plane, Oliver kept looking back with tears dripping down his cheeks. I cried a bit, too, and stood at the window right by the nose of the plane. I was so close I could see the pilot and I couldn't help but think that my life was really in his hands. I stared at him, willing him to know that, but he kept adjusting his headphones and taking sips of coffee and soon, the plane separated from the airport and rolled backward, out and away.
I stood for a while at the window as it taxied down but then it disappeared and I walked back to my car. The airport was bustling but seemed extra quiet and that's pretty much how I imagine my house will be this week. Sort of like the real life has been sucked out of it.
In all the excitement of getting them ready I've kept pushing out of my mind feelings of anxiety and sadness. The sadness isn't just the obvious mother hen-type separation anxiety. It also has to do with the fact that I, too, could have gone on spring vacation with them but felt constrained by Sophie. It was too short a time to warrant taking her with us as traveling is very difficult, and the expense of another plane ticket and childcare for her as well was just too much. It's difficult to live in the moment at these times, to not think that our lives are just so damn different from most families I know and will be forever. I've comforted myself with the thought that I'll have a very quiet week and respite from the clamor of my sons' constant needs. I plan on getting a little extra help for Sophie and going to movies, yoga, and lunch with friends. I might throw in a happy hour or two, too, and maybe The Husband will be able to break away from The Mistress for dinner. The boys will have an amazing time with their grandparents and will come back to us filled with stories and memories.
There they go. Out of sight but not mind.