Marlowe went out of town this weekend. And not just a few towns away– but at the current moment, my kid is roughly 1,400 miles away from me. You know, we have been further distances apart… but this time it’s different. Because this is the first time she made the decision to get on a plane and travel without me.
Because she’s old enough to do that now.
Alex came home from work the first night she was away and asked, “But how are you doing with everything?” I told him, “I’m fine. It’s a bit weird without Marlowe, but I’m fine” — he said, “I know! That’s what I mean, how are you doing with all that? How are you holding up?”
I’m fine. Really. Honestly, I’m happy for her.
I told him, “Honestly, it’s just so crazy amazing to watch her grow up and become her own person. I’m not yearning for her to stay small forever. I’m excited to watch her evolve.”
Not only am I happy for her to have this experience on her own, but I’m also just so impressed with her ability to have the courage to get on a plane and travel without me. She’s never done that before. I have sat next to her on every single plane ride that she has been in the last eight and a half years.
And this one was without me… but not alone. We had talked on and off the last few months about Marlowe potentially flying up to Massachusetts to visit my mom. The invite was open for me too— but I don’t love my time back in my childhood home the way Marlowe does And by chance, it worked out that my sister (step-sister if you’re confused) and her family would be flying up and then later that week my brother and his family would be flying back down to Florida. This overlapping time wasn’t planned by anyone, but it worked out perfectly for sure.
And so she flew up— and soon she’ll be flying back down… with family. But the thing is, it doesn’t matter that family was flying up or down– I mean, it does in the sense that it brings me extra mind and security in her travel. But for Marlowe? That tiny little girl would have marched up to the plane to travel all by herself regardless if there was someone by her side or not.
She’s powerful like that.
I was never that kid. Hell, I’m hardly that adult. I feel comfortable having a sidekick by me, always, in anything. I don’t need it anymore in my adult years, not like I needed someone by my side as a painfully shy kid. But still, I enjoy one on one companionship with people I love, no matter how minuscule the task… even just for a store run. Only in the past decade or so can I say that I truly feel confident by myself (while still enjoying and preferring company). Yesterday I drove by the first restaurant I ever had a meal by myself at. (Well, the plaza where the restaurant once was.) It was a big deal for me to get a meal by myself. I still, almost 10 years later remember the feelings. And while Marlowe is a lot like me… she’s not me. And for her, alone time is a wonderful time. At eight years old she would happily enjoy her own quiet company at a restaurant I’m sure. And I love that about her.
It hit me last night (actually, maybe Alex brought it up)– I don’t think I’ve been apart from her for more than one night at a time in the last year and a half. Not since New Orleans. She’s had plenty of sleepovers away, but with her being homeschooled, and with us taking time off to travel as a family, or with all the solo trips her and I have taken in the last year, we’ve been pretty tightly joined together. So much so that people have been curious to know when I get my alone time– I haven’t really.
(Not till this weekend, anyway.)
And this weekend? Well, there hasn’t been parties or exciting nights out— I’ve just been doing the things I would normally do anyway. Just without her. Do I miss her? Of course. But again, I’m mostly excited for her and her time of independent growth.
It’s a short trip anyway…it’s really just a long weekend.
Thursday to Monday night and then she’s home in her bed again. One shift and a new event in a series of changes for her. And for me too, I guess. (I’m realizing now as I type this out.) I kept looking at this as a new time for her… but I didn’t realize until this very moment that its really a shift for me too. Any change in her current life affects me too. This is another step for her growth and independence in life… but also from me.
But again… I’m okay with that.
I truly am. She’ll be back home in about 24 hours. The next few weeks will be a whirlwind, I’m sure. And then like that, a new chapter of school will be starting. New friends for her. New activities. New interests and learning experiences. And I’m so excited for all of it for her. I’m proud of her. And I’m so excited to watch her grow.
I hope you guys had an amazing weekend 🙂