She walked away. She looked so carefree with 45 pounds of God only knows and I wasn't checking. As bad as I wanted to hug the fear out of me and the naiveté out of her, I knew to at least keep the goodbye simple. A peck on the cheek and a 'don't forget to text us' would have to suffice. Any lingering would belie my true feelings.
I had done the math (even though math is my least favorite thing to do). She would arrive in Dublin by midnight. She'd have enough time between flights to send an update text, stretch her legs, go to the bathroom, update her snapchat story, people gaze and if she was feeling daring, and I'm sure she would be, guzzle an Irish beer before the rooster crowed twice.
The clock silently ticked like a bomb fraying my nerves. What if the plane crashes? What if she loses her passport? Did I remind her to always keep her travel pouch hanging in front of her and not across her body? What if she forgets to charge her phone? What if she gets lost? What if she gets kidnapped or adult-napped? Didn't the movie "Taken" happen in Paris her next destination?
Finally, a happy-go-lucky 'made it! smooth flight. lots of food and great movies. very techy airport' text arrived. I could breathe again.
More math. The flight to Paris was just over 2 hours and with her layover she'd arrive in Paris at 4am CST. I had four hours to sleep, if I could call it that, before the next update.
4am and nothing. I wake my husband whose snoring suggests he is not having a problem sleeping nor does he have any anxiety about our baby, who is really an adult, trekking the globe all by herself.
"Kayla hasn't text yet and her flight should be in by now. Can you check your phone to see if you got a text?"
He turns and looks at me blankly as my comment and question slowly register. He turns and grabs his phone from the nightstand.
"Nothing, yet. Give it at least an hour before you panic." He should have just said give me another hour to sleep before you alert me again of your panic.
What had we done? We sent our daughter to backpack across Europe with people we didn't know, to some lands and tongues foreign to us and her. She'd always been the one to break out of the cocoon long before I was ready to release her. Was she truly ready to go it on her own? When would my fear dissipate? Would I feel better when she arrived in Paris because I had studied abroad there and had some familiarity? Would I feel better when she arrived at the hostel? Or when her friends arrived the next day? When she arrived in Spain where she was fluent?
4:43am - a text 'got lost because I could not read the abbreviated metro station stops but found someone who spoke Spanish and they told me where to go. hostel is nice. also guys keep coming up to me and talking in French. I have no clue what they are saying, so I just nod and walk away.'
I smile, and send back a voice recording "Je ne parle pas Francias. Je parle Anglais et Espagnol."
An adult, who will always be my baby, walked away ready to take on the world.
Documenting my evolution by filling in space and matter one word at a time.