Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Letting Go

Em and I are leaving on Thursday for New York; I'll be staying there for four days, seeing family and friends (and my friends' newly adopted baby girl from Russia, who I intend to overwhelm by squeezing and snuggling her way too frequently) and meeting with some of my book editors. I'll return home on Monday, but Em won't...at least not that Monday. Instead, she's going the spend two weeks with my mom and stepdad (and sister and nephew and stepsister and stepbrother-in-law and aunts and uncles...not to mention two of Baroy's brothers and their wives and their kids...). I'll fly back to New York on August 27th--two days after Em's birthday, actually--to pick her up, see the aforementioned folks again and squeeze my friends' baby girl again (if she isn't already running away screaming at the mere sight of me).

Em's nervous. Very. But she's also excited. She's particularly excited about the four days of "Mommy-Emmy time" that we'll be getting before I leave NYC. Me, I'm...not nearly as freaked out as I would expect to be. Or, rather, as other people expect me to be.

See, I'm not really an emotional person. That's often hard for people who know me to recognize, because I'm generally outgoing, loud, quick to smile and laugh, not at all shy about hugging and touching. But the negative emotions are hard for me. It's taken me years to get to the point where I can dare to disagree with a friend on something, much less get angry at them. (Baroy doesn't entirely buy the, "The only reason I can scream expletives at you is because I love you," argument, but it's true.) And I'm not a cryer. I mean, REALLY not a cryer. Didn't cry at my wedding. Didn't cry at my kids' births. Didn't cry when my grandmother died.

None of these are expressions of how I feel about those people. I'm just not a cryer. Nor is my mother, or my sister. (Baroy, on the other hand, is--as is his whole family. By the end of the weekend of our wedding, my mother was rolling her eyes and saying, "Oh, look. One of the K's is crying again. What a shock." But I'm sure she meant it lovingly.)

So when people keep asking me how I'm going to deal with saying goodbye to Em, or how they can't imagine their children being gone for such a long time, I just shrug my shoulders. I guess I'm just cold-hearted or something, but I really think I'm going to be fine. I mean, I'll give her a huge hug when they drop me at the airport, and I do expect that SHE will cry, and that will make me sad for a minute...but then I'll think to myself, or say aloud to her, that she's going to have such a wonderful time that it more than makes up for any homesickness she might feel, and I'll get on the plane with nary a heart-tug. It's sort of like the way I felt when she or, more recently, N were at the crying-when-mom-leaves stage at daycare, and I really didn't have a hard time prying them off me and giving them to a caregiver and walking away. Not the first time, but once they were settled. Because I knew they were going to have a great day. I knew that by the time I came to pick them up, they'd complain about having to go home. So why waste the energy feeling bad for them? Spending two weeks with your grandparents is such a wonderful gift that I really mostly feel happy for her, excited for her. And I'm looking forward, to be honest, to letting N be an only child for a couple of weeks. Em got 3.5 years of it, after all, and he deserves a little two-on-one time.

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