Monday, April 25, 2011

What We Hope For & What We Dread

None of them look back.

We are there on the balcony of the departure area of JFK at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning watching our children rush happily towards their gate for international flights below. We, a tired crew of parents, stand there scanning the group of kids for any sign of slight hesitation…any hint of fear, of home sickness, of missing us, but of course, there is none of that. Not even a look back or a wave.

This is what we strive for— brave, bold children who are unafraid of the world. Yet the look on the parents’ faces is not satisfaction for a job well done, but heartbreak. It all really does go so quickly from the tearful pre-school drop off to the sudden interest in international travel…without us.

I look over at a dad—barely holding it together. “She is just like her older sister—she never looked back. But there is something about the baby leaving…it is harder…” his sentence trailed off. I look to The Man, hoping he would have something comforting to say, but I could tell…he was close to the edge too.

“Buck-up” I finally said, “It is not college. They will be home in 9 days, go home, go hug your dog.”

And that is what we do— we go back home, pet the cats and wait.

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