It is that time of year again. Elizabeth leaves to go visit her father this Saturday. Every summer, a part of my heart is ripped out and flies across the country. It never gets easier to give her a hug and a kiss with a false smile planted on my face and to let her get on that plane all by herself. It never gets easier to deal with the every other day phone call that I am allowed (to not make things difficult for her there). It just fucking sucks.
I deal with the fear that something will happen to her down there and I won't be there or that her father won't call me. I somehow, some way, seem to feel that because she is here with me that somehow I am able to shield her from the evil that is so rampant in this world. I am able to keep her blossoming figure from becoming the object of men's lust and that I can protect her from what our society allows men to do with that lust. I am able to protect her from the heartbreak that comes with the struggle of finding out exactly who you are throughout your teen years. I for some reason believe that simply being in my vicinity I can prevent her from ever being hurt.
All of which is hogwash, I know. I can't protect her from any of those things any more with her here than I can with her there. She has to grow up and learn and get hurt and make her own choices. It is a struggle for me to allow this to happen because it goes against every single instinct that I have as a mother. I can no longer pick her up and cuddle her on my lap and kiss the boo-boos away. I can't keep her a baby forever...but how much do I allow her to grow up and how quickly?
I have no choice in letting her go. I had to let her go before I wanted to, before I thought that she was ready to fly by herself. I tried to comfort myself by saying, "She will have experiences there that I can't give her. She deserves to see her father and his family." It does not comfort me. I want my daughter here. I want her to spend the summer with me and her sister and her step-father.
I wish that for about a half and hour I could be a toddler again so I could throw the huge fit that I have brewing inside of me. That I could just kick and scream and cry and carry on and someone would come to comfort me. I suppose I could and blame it on pregnancy hormones...but really, what would that do for me other than temporarily make me feel better? I was trained to think systemically...to change the rules that govern the system, not just treat the symptoms. I have to treat their underlying causes.