Out of the Bubble: Sending My 5-Year-Old on Spring Break

4 years ago

This morning, I packed a bright pink backpack full of little socks, panties, and clothes. I made sure that there were snacks and gum and activities. I added a picture of the Hubs and myself.

I showered and dressed a little girl that just yesterday couldn't figure out which shoe went on which foot. I kissed her forehead and her nose and I sent her off on her very first Spring Break.

On a plane. With her Grandma.

And I am staying home.

I am excited for her. She is going to do a lot of fun and amazing things with her cousins, aunt, and Grandma. They are going to make memories that will need to last.

I am excited for myself. This is the first time in five years that I have had time to myself. Time to read a book, or take a nap, or, Hell, a shower without interruption. I have some plans -- not big plans, but plans nonetheless.

Photo via the author.

I am worried about her. I am pretty sure that I did not breathe fully until the last of their flights touched down and they were safe and sound with family. I worry that she won't be able to go to sleep tonight or any night because of strange surroundings and sounds, because of excitement and too much sugar; I worry that she will drive her Grandma crazy or at least to drink.

But we have established that I am a worrier. It's of no consequence really.

I am going to miss her, I already do, but this is part of it, this is where all of the work starts to become real. When you let them leave that bubble of protection and security, even if it's just a little short journey, even if it's with family, where you are trusting that the things that you have taught them have really sunk in. That the "pleases" and the "thank yous" are second nature and not forced, that stranger danger is not just an in the car hypothetical game, that holding hands in public places and parking lots is just as important as not jumping in the bathtub or not walking on the kitchen counters.

I know that she will do well.

But, until she is back in the bubble, back where I can control a little bit more of the everyday than I can right now?

I am gonna be sitting over here, barely breathing, pretending like I have it all together in between the phone calls and the FaceTime.

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