This time of year, as I wrote about last year (and the year before) is all wonderful and summery, but with an undercurrent of dread. For the last several years, I've let the kids fly on their own to go visit Grandmom and Granddad in North Carolina before our annual summer vacation. Even though summer is off and running and we're enjoying it to its fullest extent, occasionally my mind goes to the fact that in a few short weeks, I'll be putting a subset of my kids on a plane. That will fly in the sky. Without me on it.
And this year is different. For the first time, it's not a subset, but a full set. The three most precious little people in my world will look back and wave, board a plane and happily take off into the wild blue yonder. Fearless and filled with a spirit for adventure, they'll speed away.
I already know this will be the worst two hours of my life and I'm already thanking my lucky stars that it's only two hours. For someone who likes to hold the reigns, this is the epitome of letting go. Once they're there, I'll be fine. I love that they're going. That they have these memories with their grandparents who live far away. That they don't even entertain hesitation - they just fly.
Even though he waivered a bit in the begining, I'm sure Finn is ready. However, I see something in his eyes when we talk about going, the logistics, what it will be like. He looks at me as if to say, "Will you be okay?" Even if I've said nothing at all, this little old man of mine knows how I'm feeling.
Last week, while walking around the Naperville Riverwalk, Finn grabbed my hand as usual. Whenever my grip loosened, he repeated, "Hold on tight. I like it when you keep on holding tight." And since then, anytime we're near each other, he grabs my hand and says the same thing.
While watching a movie on Friday night, he took my hand and placed it on his chubby, dirty, boy foot. He pressed down. "Hold tight. I like it when you keep on holding tight."