First things first: my baby girl, who is six months shy of becoming a teen-ager, is on a 12-day cross-country odyssey adventure with her 7th and 8th grade classmates. It’s something this particular school does each year with all grade levels (7 through 12). They go somewhere amazing, sleep in tents, cook their own food, and basically commune with nature. The whole adventure is designed for team building—sort of a baptism by fire for middle schoolers to learn to work together to form the basis for their future success in school. She was completely stoked to go.
Last night was the first night the kids were able to make phone calls home (as they’ve reached their final destination in Wyoming) and I was at a gathering of school moms where one by one, each mom’s cell phone would ring, and very relived mothers would finally hear how their child’s trip was going.
Now I wasn’t here to see Aidan off, because I was on a plane, on my way to Utah last week, for my job. Sigh. But I knew she’d be fine. She’s never been a clingy kid. Quite the opposite. She’s headstrong and confident and likes to make sure you know who’s in charge on any given day. So when my phone rang, and I stepped outside of the bustle of the home I was visiting to hear her more clearly, I guess I wasn’t really prepared for a phone call filled with tears and sadness.
She cried for the whole duration of the 4-1/2 minute phone call.
Nothing was wrong, she wasn’t hurt. She didn’t say, "Can you please come to Wyoming and get me?" But one thing was certain: she missed her mama. She managed to tell me that yes, it was beautiful there, and that she had almost filled up an entire memory card on my little Kodak point and shoot camera, and that she’d had good day, despite almost falling off a mountain during a daily hike, but still… the tears flowed.
She had called Dan a minute before she called me, and according to his report, she seemed a little sad, but certainly wasn’t crying, and was able to report some of the good stuff that had happened thus far. But something in my voice must have tipped the balance for her.
And yes, that loud cracking noise that rang out across the upper midwest last night? That was the sound of my heart snapping in two.
It’s 47 degrees out this morning, and I had planned to blog about how happy I felt last night pulling out my spice stash to make my favorite low-fat chili, with the onset of fall seeming to come more quickly than any year in recent memory, and how I love these cool mornings that find my Uggs all toasty and warm on my feet, and how my new pajamas are so perfect for cool days and nights…
But right now, I just want my little girl home.