Just posting this so I have a memory. Read on if you wish but there aren't any meaty details or enlightening pictures. There will, undoubtedly, be a follow up to this post later next week. Later next week because that's when I'm going to see Mari again and hopefully have tons of pictures for documentation!
The immediate family are well aware of some of Mari's little quirks. Since they are baggage she carries as a result of her adoption, which she is not ready to air in public, I will not be specific. Just suffice it to say that adoption in general and international adoption of a toddler in particular results in wounds and scars not easily healed.
With that in mind, Mari is veeeeery soon about to turn 13. Auntie Peggy has a tradition of 'kidnapping' her nieces and nephews for a special 13th birthday trip for some quality one on one time with the newly minted teenager. Given some of Mari's quirks this had the potential to go south...and with her Latina temper we're talking way south way fast! Coupled with the fact that for Mari's trip Auntie Peggy had decided on a CRUISE we both held our breath last night when the 'kidnapping' commenced.
As they rose from their homework on the call to head over to religious education class we stood at the front door. In the bottleneck of the vestibule we shouted for everyone to turn and give Mari a hug and kiss good-bye as she would not be attending RE this night....she had a plane to catch! As the older ones who've had their moment began squealing and shouting Mari's face went blank. I must admit I had a moment of dread when I saw her cocked head and furrowed brow but with the revealing of each detail she smiled just a little wider until there was a full fledged GRIN. My sober and serious type A daughter came as close as she has ever come to GIDDY!
In the hour long car ride to the airport she interrogated us within an inch of our lives on just how we had arranged and packed everything without her noticing. Trust me, it was NOT EASY!! Mari has always been a 'watcher'. She is the one who sits in the back of the room and observes EVERYTHING without bringing much attention to herself. No haircut goes unnoticed and she is the first to see a new outfit/purse on a friend. It's a good thing she goes to school for 8 hours everyday.....
Anyhow, she did not completely act out of character by being all giddy and excited. There was the panicked question, "What if it's like the Titanic????" to which I assured her that there were no icebergs in the Caribbean. One thing I can say as it is sooooo very common knowledge is that if worrying were an Olympic sport, Mari would be the Gold Medal winner....hands down!!!! Had she known about this cruise last week, when the news was filled with stories of spam and pop tart dinners for the stranded passengers on the Pacific liner that had the engine room fire, she would have insisted on me packing her an extra bag with food. Not kidding, really, she's like that!
But to the point of this post for which I would like to have it recorded for posterity....Mari gave me a hug good-bye at the airport and after a peck on the cheek and a whispered, "I'll miss you Mom. Love you so much!" she turned and walked into the terminal. No tear streaked sobs. No trembling lips and petitions to change our minds and let her go back home. No frozen to the sidewalk panic. No angry slamming back into the car and fighting tooth and nail to hang on to the seat belt. No "Mayan thunder clouds" look. They've been coming less and less lately. This night they did NOT come at all!!!! I know it's a very fragile scab but I really think the separation wound is starting to close. I've seen it ripped back open a time or two but this time I think it's different. This time she willingly left. She knew there would be five bedtimes without our routine. She knew she was going out of cell phone range. She knew she was going to foreign countries... and she went!
I'm a tiny bit of a wreck. Glad to be drama free for a couple of days but so assuming her mantle of worry as I hope that this is the best trip of her life!!! This so needs to be the memory of a life time....a positive memory...not a trauma. Please God, it's me Suzanne and all I'm asking is for this one little favor.....