“I am going to travel the world!”
In a few short weeks, Princess starts living her dream.
She has been talking up this idea of world travel since before graduating high school. The only thing standing in her way, the last four years, has been her post- secondary education. I think she is doing it right. Earn the degree, and the world is her oyster.
Throughout the last four years, she’s had another story running in the background. It is one of a competitive lifesaving swimmer. She has trained. Hard. Last June she achieved her goal and she was chosen for Canada’s Commonwealth Team. Uncertainties about travel plans were washed away in one exciting moment. This September, she will swim in Canberra, Australia with the maple leaf on her cap.
A Communications Degree in her back pocket and work visa in hand, she will board the Air Canada jet destined for “downunder.” When the swimming is over, she will stay away. Six months, eight months, a year might go by. Oh, to be twenty-something again.
I couldn’t be happier for her. I wish I was tagging along, but this is her dream and she’s earned it. She is living hers; I am living mine.
My happiness for her isn’t going to make it any easier for me. Having lived through this experience once before when Buddy left, I thought I’d be better prepared. How silly to think I would react to Princess’s departure differently. My relationship with each of my kids is as individual as they are. As the day approaches, I admit letting go will be tough.
The Consultant and I will drop her at the airport and go home to our truly empty house. Then what? The next day, we’ll hop in my Honda and make off for Slave Lake, back to work for
The My Consultant, back to writing for me. Back to the same old, same old. Up in Slave Lake I won’t have to face the real empty nest, for a while anyway.
I am reminded of the send off for my first big trip. At eighteen years old, I had never been on an airplane. Excited and scared, I stood at Calgary International Airport with both, Mom and Dad. Mom gave me a Kodak Instamatic 110 camera and Dad gave me a pen. “Don’t forget to write and remember you are a lady.”
My Consultant and I will be at the same airport with Princess. We will hand her a Kobo Arc and say, “Skype us now and then. You are a strong woman. Go make some memories. And don’t have any fun :)”
“Don’t have any fun” has been family code for -Be sensible. Be safe. I know she has heard these words of wisdom many times. But this time we mean it!
For the time being, I don’t need to think about it too much. The send off isn’t for two weeks. I am planning a family affair with her brother and his girlfriend, Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. We will celebrate her birthday, her graduation, her competition and her adult life, surrounded by people who love her. And love me.
Safe travels, Princess, and remember you are our lady.