Letting go…

Seventeen years ago, a small girl bravely set foot on her first school bus.  On her way to half-day kindergarten, dressed in a pretty, stiff new dress, a small bow in her carefully brushed hair… freshly scrubbed face.  The Girl had that look.   A perfect mixture of anxiety, fear, determination… and excitement.

Tonight?  i saw it again.  On the face of a beautiful 22 year old woman.  Leaving her at the security check point, she was off to board a flight to Rome, and following a 12 hour layover, flying to Beirut, Lebanon.  After four years on the Dean’s List, working toward a dual degree in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies, she’s off to spend Fall term at a foreign university – immersed in the language and culture that will serve as a foundation for her career.  Her life.

On the drive, she kept saying “it doesn’t seem real yet” and “it was such an abstract concept, I can’t believe I’m really leaving.”  But in that moment at the airport, it became real.  The same kid who headed off for three weeks on her own in Morocco last summer, and two years ago sailed around the world on an academic voyage, was facing the reality that she’s going halfway around the world.  Alone.  To Study.

So proud of her… And – as always – anxious about letting go.  Although this time the bus has wings*.  i won’t be there at the end of the day to listen to her excited recitation about her first day at school.  Suspect i’ll get an e-mail in a couple days.

Here’s to The Girl.  And a flattened world.  To peace, love and cultural understanding.  And to bravely facing adventure…  And letting go… 

Fly away, kiddo...

Fly away, kiddo...


* Not only wings, but a digital personal entertainment system in the seatback, meals – and for the first time for this kid, in flight booze.  *sniff, sniff*  They grow up soooooo fast….

21 thoughts on “Letting go…

  1. You know what, Dais. If she’s anything like her momma, she’s not only gonna be fine, she’s gonna stir things up a bit.

    Man, I remember that first time I left home. Really left home. To live in another country. I was so brave. So much braver than I am now. But one of the best times of my life. The possibility of everything. She’s gonna have the most incredible experiences….

  2. unbearable banishment – thanks… restless night… “she’ll be fine” (repeat mantra as necessary)

    annie – she’s absolutely fearless. trusting. adventurous. and resourceful enough to extract herself from a mob-managed brothel in Istanbul when she and her friends found themselves in a bad situation… i really need to stop worrying.

    awalkabout – thanks. since you put one on a navy ship at a young age, i’m pretty sure you know this feeling!

    kyknoord – beirut? they’ve weathered worse… remember, it’s my kid going over, not me!

    dolce – she’s much classier than her old lady. and less trouble! Yes – “everything is possible” at that age. But i missed that part… When i was 19? i moved in with a 26 year old man. At 21? bought my first house. 23? married. 24? breeding… (sigh)

    alex – thanks. anxiously awaiting the sequel to “snakes”… and yes, i know it’ll be ok. just can’t convince my ‘dinosaur brain’ of that bit of information…

  3. you didn’t have and raise them to hide behind your skirt the rest of their lives. she is beautifully spreading her wings. yeah, it’s still okay to worry as only a mother can (that never stops). very exciting.

  4. it’s ironic that you raise them so that you can let them go and when you do it right they always leave cuz that’s what they’re supposed to do, shit i have years to go before i make it to this day and i get misty eyed just thinking about it, congrats to her and you.

  5. Now THAT is one helluva girl/woman, and one to be very anxiously proud of. Her mom has obviously taught her the value of facing adventures and letting go – BRAVO to both of you! 🙂

  6. How exciting. How scary. How touching. They do sprout wings, don’t they? Just remember, the wings bring them back, too. When that homecoming happens, she will be different——but the same!

  7. lksn – it is exciting! i can’t imagine being that adventurous at 22! then again, i was damn near married, and owned a house. different kind of bravery, i suppose…

    gnu – my skirts tend to be on the smallish side. not much room for them to hide!

    uncle keith – “i got yer peace in the middle east right here“… oh yeah. THAT would be quite an adventure!

    kono – it goes quick. except when they are sick, puking in your hair, or screaming and throwing tantrums. that part drags a bit…

    m shodiq – i hope you aren’t spam… interesting site (although i don’t speak indonesian)…

    nm – thanks! and yes, isn’t it about time we planned our next adventure?

    tNb – Yep! and somehow? I can see this kid someday throwing caution to the wind, uprooting – and moving halfway around the world for love! How cool is that? 🙂

    eastcoastcarol – it’s all that! i remember when i put her on a bus for mexico, as she embarked on her world voyage, i thought – “this is going to completely chang her life”… picking her up 4 months later in Ft. Lauderdale? it was a different person – but the foundation was unchanged! cool how that works!

  8. Bb – yes, she’s a top girl… she read this post, from halfway around the world and said “Thanks. The picture is a bit too cliche for my taste” so i’m afraid she doesn’t have the political bent… besides, can you imagine the scandal when the press finds out her Momma has posted boobies on the interweb?!?!?

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