Aidan Zielske in the mountains of San Salvador, March 2012.
I told you last week that my girl, my first-born and only daughter, was heading out for a mission trip to El Salvador with our church and that Dan and I would not be accompanying her on this journey.
I posted a baby photo of her and made light of the fact that I would be curling up into a ball until her return.
Funny. I didn't think I would actually want to do that.
Aidan is still on her trip as I post this, not due to return until Wednesday night. I didn't expect to be refreshing the Flight Tracker screen every hour on the hour last week, waiting to see that yes, her next flight had taken off, or that yes, her last flight had landed.
I posted to Facebook a few times during the day as well, this being one of them:
At the time, I was being flippant, but as the days have gone on, I have been overwhelmed at the depth of this missing her.
I know that one of my jobs is to raise children who will be able to leave this nest and find their own ways in the world. Theoretically, I do get this.
You don't really think much about this, however, when you decide to go off the pill in 1995 because suddenly you've had a change of heart in your previous, "I'm not having kids" position and figure, "What the hell? Let's DO this!"
I'm not going to lie to you. I was not the best mother in the early years of my childrens' lives. I'm not just saying that for dramatic effect either. I'm saying that as a direct result of doing therapy for the past few years and because I have learned a lot about who I am, who I was and how I operated in the world.
I was so much crabbier. So much more focused on imposing me onto who I thought they should be at times. I was so much more self absorbed than I should have been.
And as a result, it limited my ability to truly see my children.