Well? What exactly did I do? I made it through another semester of school. This semester I learned so much, mostly I learned that I can’t put too much on my plate. (unless we are talking food and an actual plate in which case I do that a lot too and really shouldn’t) Also I am not as young as I used to be.

Another thing that I did was I moved my youngest daughter all the way across the country. That was exceptionally hard.

That is what I will write about today. Moving my youngest daughter and it all started with going up to her college to pack up her dorm room. I had to complete homework assignments while I was there. I went from going to her room, which was practically packed because she is prepared at all times, to the hotel room to learn about what the brain does while it is sleeping. Also I had to squeeze in talking to my husband because he was there too. I was like “Did you know that with each stage of sleep there are different brain waves?” And “Do you want to watch this video of sleep deprivation with me?” Because this is what mothers do, we multitask. We are also good at romance.

We get all of her belongings packed up in the two cars, except her mattress topper because I envisioned it springing open in the car as I was driving down the road and we would end up dead in a ditch….(in case anyone wants to know why mothers believe that death is the only reason for not hearing from their kids, this is the thought process. you’re welcome)

So we finally get her home so that she can repack the things she will need during her internship as a pastry chef at a very affluent Golf resort in California. I am so proud. While this was going on, my oldest daughter was at a tremendously popular horse show as a veterinarian intern. And my son was getting his new job. So I am a great mother, for all of you doubters out there. That’s right lady who said I gave up on natural child birth to have each child ripped from my stomach…take that!!!!! (I may have built up some resentments through the years mostly because I totally could believe that I was going to be a horrible mother) Where was I?

Right, the moving! We get her all packed up to travel across the country to begin her next chapter. The day to fly out gets here. I get up early in the morning so we are not late for our flight and my husband comes in to see us off. (also to lift our bags because she is moving out there for the summer and she will need many things, mostly shoes apparently because she is like her mother) We get through security and go get a coffee because we are early enough. I’m early for mostly everything unless I’m late and if I’m late it is either a few minutes or fucking days because I totally forgot. Anyway we are early and we sit at the gate and I start reading my files for my term paper. My daughter is snap chatting her friends because she will not see them at all this summer. The announcement comes across the speaker, your flight is delayed for maintenance. I smile at my daughter and say “Best to be safe!” I go back to my reading and hi-lighting. Another announcement comes across the speaker, delayed even further. I pat my daughter’s leg and ask “Are you hungry?”

I send her out to grab some food. I began to do more research. She comes back and a new announcement “Maintenance does not know when your plane will be ready so just sit tight folks.” People around us grumble. There is one mom breastfeeding her baby and another trying to not lose her shit with her four year old that has spent his patience and hers from all of this delaying. The father tells his wife “Can you just take it easy?”

I begin to fear for his life. (sir let me tell you something….you DON’T EVEN KNOW THE JUDGEMENT THAT IS PUT ON MOTHERS WHEN THEIR CHILD IS EATING LINT OFF OF THE CARPET) I smile at her and she says to him “I am going to go find a snack.” which is code for “I cannot be held accountable for my words and actions so I am going to walk away from you. This may be the last time we see each other.” She was smart to do so. I tried to not judge her husband either because no one likes to hear their precious four year old get hissed at, even if the child is slightly annoying with his impressions of a cop car in a tight space filled with impatient travelers.

I couldn’t help but identify with these mothers. Yes, I have been the breastfeeding in public mother, trying to be modest and cover up. Yes, I have been the hissing mother in public because four year olds truly could give two shits about social constructs. And now I am the mother trying to get through this paper so that I can focus on my real purpose for sitting in this airport. I am moving my baby all the way across the country.

I am proud

and I am sad

and I am busy.

I am mom!

A poem for all of you mothers out there. Its almost mother’s Day feel free to rip this off for your mom’s card.

A new announcement comes over the loud speaker that they have found a new plane and once they de-board and fuel up and change the crew and clean the vessel and other things “we will get you on your way!” Everyone in the tiny area all begin to glue back together. Its happening folks it’s really happening! They then get the plane de-boarded and we see the cleaning crew go on. I stand up with my books and things all neatly put away because “this is it, what we have tirelessly been waiting for!”

A new announcement “Sorry folks, maintenance is now looking at this plane.”

GROANSSSSSSSS!!!!!

I look at my daughter, who starts work as an intern at a very prestigious place tomorrow morning and we don’t even know when we will be getting there, if at all. The airline bring food in for us. We all stand in line and get our free sandwich. I go over there and browse because I am always on some form of healthy eating and/or giving up on healthy eating pattern. I browse and I take inventory. I decide that I will eat healthy and I grab a veggie wrap and water. I skip the chips. As we are all getting fat and happy I see this man that has been sitting across from me this entire endeavor, get up and sprint out of the room. I immediately hope that I didn’t just eat the “diarrhea inducing sandwich” he just had, when I hear the announcement “Ladies and Gentlemen, we want to let you know at this time that your flight has been cancelled and you will now need to run all the way across the airport and have a gladiator like fight to the death to see who is worthy to carry on to the next flight. We thank you for your patience and ready, set, GOOOOO!”

Oh not diarrhea! This is a gladiator who has seen battle before. I look at my sweet little angel and I think, I will fight to the death for a seat next to her. My husband, who travels for a living, calls me and says “Honey, I am on the phone with the Airline and they just need to talk to you to get you on the next available flight.” BECAUSE I’M MARRIED TO THE KING OF ALL AIRPORT GLADIATORS, BITCHES, AND THIS IS EXACTLY HOW I AM GOING TO WIN TODAY. He had been getting the alerts for our flight fiasco and he was prepared. He had the airline on speed dial from his own personal experience. I want to say that I would have known what to do, but I would be lying. I am very thankful to my gladiator husband. We get on the next flight and we are not sitting next to each other but we are sitting one in front of the other. As we wait for the next flight I strike up a conversation with the mom who is nursing her child. I explain that it was my daughter’s first day at work tomorrow and we have to get there. She explains that her husband was seated on the very back of the plane and he was no where near them. I look at my ticket and said if she needed to switch we could. She smiled and said that she believed people would gladly switch seats so they didn’t have to sit next to a baby. This is the truth. How many times have you gotten on a plane and saw a baby get on. Your impression is “Oh CRAP, who brought the fucking noise maker with them!” I mean I don’t because I’m nice *cough cough!

Finally we get to board our plane. I see the man that was to be seated next my eighteen year old angel and I say “Excuse me sir, could you change seats with me. I have an isle seat.” He gladly does because the seats are four across and he was in one of the center seats. He actually thanks me for switching with him. We get all settled and the person that eventually sits next to me is a man that I am (probably exaggerating) Not exaggerating at all when I say is seven, almost eight feet tall. I don’t really know because I am super short and I don’t know what real tall is, but this man didn’t fit in the seats with his long legs. I look at him and say “I have little legs so feel free to stretch out.” He smiles and says kind things and we settle in to be best friends on this flight.

I look at my daughter who is tired and say “This is shaping up to be a good day.” The flight was good and I ordered some cheese and crackers on the plane because I am getting a low bloodsugar headache. We land and then think “I hope our bags made it.” I turn on my phone and my husband texted me “Your bags made it I checked.” (okay, I see it too, it’s a little co-dependent stockholmish and whatever….but he sees it as being helpful…. so be nice)

I am waiting by the carousel watching the bags go around. I have unique luggage complete with my initials on my bags. I see a bag that is identical to mine but no initials. I didn’t give it a second thought. I grab my other bag (complete with initials) my daughter’s two bags and watch this imposter bag zoom around a few more times. I look at my daughter and ask “Do you think my initials just wore off?”

“No Mom, don’t touch that bag. It’s not yours!”

I pick up the bag and look at it anyway because it looks almost exactly like mine but no initials and nope it is definitely not mine. I stand there and watch the bag impersonator go around a few more times and I pick it up again. It’s still not mine. I was hoping it would be. I then go to baggage claim to ask them if they knew where my bag was.

“Did you check the carousel?” the man asks

“Yes, I did. And there is a bag that looks like mine but it’s not mine.”

“Go and check the carousel again.” was his advice.

I go back out to check the carousel again and I pick up this bag two more times because I have now developed some weird sort of fascination with it. It is still not mine. I go back to baggage claim again and this time there is a woman working there and she actually listens to me.

“Oh I betcha someone took your bag by mistake.”

This is what I have been saying for like an hour. Thank you!

She gets the imposter bag and she checks the tags and says “Well the problem is that this bag was gate checked and we have no formal information for who owns it.”

I fill out paperwork and I am laughing with the people and we are joking about it. She then says that it was a man that the bag belonged to because of the contents. We laugh more about some man trying to wear my clothes. I start getting a call from some number I don’t recognize and I am like “Oh I know that this is that stupid FBI scam that calls me every damn day.” I hang up on it. I fill out more paperwork and we go on our merry way. It is nine o’clock at night and we have a two hour drive still. My phone rings again and I’m like they sure are persistent. I send it to voicemail as we are waiting for the elevator to get upstairs to take the tram to the car rental place. And again the phone is ringing…..I answer it and low and behold it is the man with my bag. “I am so sorry and super embarrassed, but I have your bag. I am in a cab and bringing it to you. Where are you?”

“I’m still at the airport, I can meet you in baggage claim. They have your bag there.” I announce. I look at my daughter who has work in the morning and her first day too. She is exhausted because it is actually midnight where we live and we had been up since five in the morning. We take the elevator back down and wait. Finally around ten he shows up we laugh and shake hands and he is super gracious. He offers to get us a car service and I decline because I have a rental car. We finally get in the elevator, we get on the tram and we get to the building where they rent cars. I find the place I need to go and we have been schlepping our heavy backpacks all day long. I have developed a hump much like quasimodo and I am okay with it. I wait my turn. I go through the actions and they tell me “Oh now that we have scanned your id and your credit card and did the eyeball scan, and checked you for lice we will tell you that you are in the wrong fucking place to get your car.” I could have had a complete meltdown because I deserve it. I truly deserve a good old fashioned meltdown. But I think of that nursing mother with her teeny tiny baby and neither of them had meltdowns so I need to just smile and thank them. We go to the place that is the right place and again scan, scan, scan, lice check and your car is the furthest one from these doors and  you will need a map and we are not going to give you one. You will probably also need a bodyguard and we do not provide those either. We finally get all the way over to our car and get all of our bags tetris-style in the back and climb in the damn car. Car is not the proper term, this is the biggest SUV I have ever even thought of trying to drive. I am driving this tank out of the rental garage and I am hoping to not run anyone over. Why? Why are you standing there holding that flag? Move or die. I am tired. I am frustrated and I cannot see over the steering wheel. MOVE OUT OF MY WAY!!!! for your own safety, please. I get on the road and ask my daughter who is working the GPS  “Where to honey bunch?” She looks at me and says it can’t find the satellite. UGHHHHHHH! Enough of this day. I have a good amount of patience and at this point…..oh no I still have more because that is how I role. “Use my phone with the eight percent battery and we will hope for the best.”

“My battery is good.” she says and we use her phone and we drive through San Francisco.

Okay, this may seem naive to anyone who has seen “Full House” or “Charmed” or the commercial for “Rice-A-Roni” But I did not know that I was going to be driving down the edge of a very winding steep cliff. It makes sense but I still wasn’t prepared for this level of driving expertise after the day that I had just had. It was two hours of steep winding curves and corners with three lanes. I was terrified and that helped me stay awake. Fear is a great motivator. We finally get to our hotel and I at first miss the turn in and have to drive around the block. The second time was a “my bad” because I have this habit of driving on sidewalks and walkways in cities because I am from the country and they look like parking to me, and I miss it again because do they actually have valet or what am I doing? So third times a charm because I pull up to the side of the place and tell my daughter to ask them. She comes back with the valet and he starts guiding me to parallel park this tank. I roll down the window and I say “I’m sorry. I cannot park this enormous car can you do it?” He smiles and tells me to pull into the “could be parking lot, but also this has fooled me before and a cop yelled at me in New York city” area. He helps us with our bags and we go in and get checked in. We get into our room and I look at my daughter it is midnight and we are exhausted. WE are also starving. I go down to the desk and ask “Is your kitchen still open?”

“Sorry ma’am but we stop serving food at eleven.”

I died. The End!!!!

No! I sort of must have looked pathetic because he offers to find some chips and salsa for us.

Flash forward to a few minutes later, my daughter and I eating chips lying in bed and trying to get something in our stomachs before we fall asleep. I woke up the next morning to breakfast, that we ordered the night before, being delivered. It was awesome. I’m sure they didn’t even question the enormous salsa puddle on my shirt. It happens all the time I’m sure. I get her to her first day on time and it was more of a meet and greet, sign paperwork and tour of the place and drug test of course, day. We get the keys to her new place and we go into her home for the summer.

The people who occupied the place prior obviously threw a rager and didn’t have time to clean afterword. Disappointing was a word I could have used but my daughter has to live here so I used the word potential. We went shopping and got cleaning supplies, a vacuum and decorations. When we were done the place was cute and habitable. We ate dinner at the hotel and the next morning she had orientation. I get up early and bring her to that. I walked her in and gave her a huge hug. I go back to the hotel and write my term paper. I also take a nap because I am exhausted still. I pick her up from work and we go and buy more things for her apartment. The next day is her official first work day and she was nervous. I get her there and come back and pack because I am a terrible mommy and I have to abandon my daughter in this foreign location. It’s so far away from home. Why did I agree to do this? I get back to her work and pick her up and take her and her friend to dinner and grocery shopping. Her friend is another girl that goes to college with her. It’s nice that she knows one person there, however they work in different places. I finally get her back to her place and tell her that I have to get on the road. I will drive back to hotel close to the airport so that I can get on the plane early the next morning. As we hug I meant to sigh and instead I sobbed complete with shoulder movement. Even as I write this I feel the lump in my throat and my eyes are welling up. It was tremendously hard to walk away. I held her hands and we said a prayer. I hugged her and kissed her and said our goodbyes. I hugged her friend and thanked her for being there. I left. I drove two hours with sobbing and singing and I barely noticed the steep roads because I am acclimated to them now. I get on the plane the next morning and I write my term paper on the plane.

I call her when I get home and she is happy and having the best time there. She is doing great. She loves her job and the people she works with. I am so proud of her and her sister and her brother. Maybe I am a good mom after all.

moral of my story: Be encouraging to your children and their dreams. If they want to reach beyond the stars tell them that you will be there for them. Other than that you have to let them do it. You have to hug them goodbye and you have to get out of their way. Children are meant to grow up and be adults. It’s so hard to let them do just that, but when you do it is so amazing to watch them fly.

Until next time.

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