December 16, 2018

Motherhood, Flying & Growing Up

I am flying to London this afternoon. I have been working on a project for several weeks and it has required me to fly back and forth. I got home from London on Monday, and am heading back today. It is a long flight and I am not a good flyer, but it has been a great project and I love London. I am dealing with jet lag from the last trip, so it is now 3:30 am and I cannot sleep or stop crying. Flying is very difficult when you are a mother.

I’m sure it is hard for a father too, but I am not a father and can only speak of the impact it has on me as a mother, so no need to write me about my sexism. I am a mother to a remarkable young man. He will be 21 in a few months and I'm having a hard time with the separation these trips are bringing. I would hang out with this kid all day, everyday, and being so far away from him is hard. I know he is an adult, but it is still rough.

I worry about being away should there be a problem. What if there is an earthquake while I’m in London? What if his car breaks down? What if the cat gets sick? What if he realizes life is so great with me away he decides to fast track his moving out? The worry is endless and while I am able to set it aside more often than not, I am crying and feel quite anxious. I guess I’m a typical nervous Jewish mother today and it is exhausting.

When I get like this, and it happens, I think about my own mom and how she must have felt when her four children grew up and built lives of their own, independent of her. My amazing mother felt this anxiety and heartache four different times. Ugh. That makes me cry harder and I want to call and tell her I get it and love her, but it is too early, so I am alone, crying, wanting to go into my son’s room and look at him. Dear Lord. I’m mental.

When my son was little I would sit with him when he slept all the time. I liked being close to him, so I would sit in his room and read, or work quietly, just so I could have more time with him. All I want to do right now is go into his room and look at him. Creepy? Whatever. I am flying across the world today and it is making me freak out a bit. I’m going to need to medicate. The truth is I have not taken a flight in 30 years without medicating.

I am officially a mess. It will pass, but it is tough. I’ll be gone for 12 days, which feels like a million years. I wanted my son to come with me, but between work and class and his having concert tickets, it wasn’t possible. He’s busy and has a life, which makes me happy, but selfishly I wish he were coming. I have raised him to be a responsible and upstanding human being, and now it’s biting me in the ass because he won’t phone in sick!

My kid is growing up and I am proud of him. The only thing left to do now is grow up myself. I need to embrace the opportunities I am given and enjoy myself. I need to let my son be the man he is, knowing he is decent and kind. He makes good choices and I don’t need to worry about him. Needing and wanting to worry are two different things though, and as a Jewish mother it is my right and responsibility to worry about him, and so I worry.

I’ve been up since 3 with jetlag. It is now 6:30 and I need to start packing. I will call my mom to let her know I think she is amazing. I will have breakfast with my son and he will tell me I am amazing. That is beautiful. I will have a safe flight and successful trip to London. I will come home and be reunited with the person who makes my heart sing. I have wiped my tears and by the time they come back I will be medicated and keeping the faith.