Less than a week ago I dropped my one and only daughter off at the airport so she could fly across the world for the next 6 weeks.  She (we) has been planning and preparing for this “study” abroad program for some time, so her leaving on a jet plane was not unexpected.

What was unexpected, however, was my blubbering mess of a Mom-self when she hugged me goodbye.

She tried to give me the ‘ol side hug on her way to the security line, but I vehemently declined and instead ordered up a proper hug.  Now, mind you, she and I had been sitting in the waiting area for at least ninety minutes before this went down; thus, many, many other impatient and slightly bored Cribbage-playing travelers had spotted us sitting there, somewhat awkwardly.

I say somewhat awkwardly because I HATE GOODBYES.  Don’t do them well.

SHE HATES GOODBYES.  Doesn’t do them well.

We don’t DO goodbyes.  They’re too formal, too forced.  But realizing it was either hugging her old lady or the trip, she stretched out her arms and that’s when the floodgates opened.

What the heck?  I didn’t even cry this much when I dropped her off at college three years ago, I thought to myself. 

I could see myself from outside myself, and the aghast onlookers who could not hide their reactions to this unnecessary scene were also helpful in solidifying that my vision was accurate.  Based on their dropped jaws and looks of “Awww…look at the crazy Mom crying uncontrollably,” I knew my makeup looked like Alice Cooper and I, in the main, looked like I was going to need help out.

Tears of joy flow more freely than tears of pain.  It was painful when Liv left for college.  Much like an impending death of an elderly loved one, even though you know the day is near, it still hurts.

I had to grieve that loss, the change of the two of us no longer living under one roof.  But this was different.  I knew full well that she was going to love every minute of her Eat, Pray, Love moments (let’s hope not all of the moments) for the next 6 weeks, so I cried abundant tears of happiness and then went on my merry way, tracking her plane like it was my J-O-B.

For the next 9 hours, I may not have been a Mom whose daughter needed her to do life, but you bet your sweet state-side arses I was an air traffic controller.

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