You’d think that having done this before I would find it easier, much like watching my children graduate Kindergarten. The first time was beautiful and sentimental. The fifth time we arrived late and didn’t stick around for the cake at the after-party. But instead, leaving her at the airport was heart wrenching. Watching her go off, just like her sister did a year before, was emotional and difficult.
You would think that running would be a natural sort of progression from, you know, walking. It turns out that running is in a completely different world. And having gotten it into my head that I am running a half-marathon in January, that little tidbit took me by surprise.
That was the moment, the moment when the roller coaster in his world started going up again, the moment that my 10 year old understood the personal power he had inside. He wasn’t passive, he was strong. He was confident. He could ride any coaster, figurative or literal, and come out triumphant.
I know I am not unique in this. I remember seeing adults crying at weddings and telling myself that I will never be like that, and now, here I am falling apart over smiling pictures of my kids at camp and hiding in my closet so none of my other kids will see.
The ER is filled with “neglectful” parents whose children have fallen in the playground and need stitches, or have swallowed too much bubble gum flavored Motrin that their kids suddenly discovered they could open.
Even though I had seen that set up so many times, I wasn’t prepared for the emotional punch of seeing my own kid in that place. Walking on train tracks that led millions to their deaths. Walking through rooms that might have been the last places of my family.