And they took my heart with them.
Actually, they took two pieces of my heart with them… Two important pieces. And they actually smiled while doing so…
That’s right. My amazing hubby and my adorable 9yo daughter are off on their Big Adventure: they are Iceland Bound. Right. This. Minute.
Yes, today is THE day. THE day that Paisley has been counting down toward for the last, I believe, 68 days, when she made her own little calendar and drew a large X through each day every night before bedtime – well, until she lost the calendar, which I honestly think the dogs ate. THE day they – well, really we, because it was exciting for all of us (and why yes, I am feeling rather bah humbug; my heart is in tatters here!) – have been talking about almost incessantly for the last four months when Bill came up with the brilliant (and now bittersweet) idea that, okay, it might be rather (or really insanely) cost-prohibitive to travel with all five of us to the distant corners of the planet (heck, it’s expensive to even travel to the next state over), and okay, taking a 2yo toddler on an airplane for much longer than an hour is our idea of war-criminal-worthy torture (and even an hour can feel like twelve when trying to keep the cross between a wiggle-worm and a butterball that I call my youngest offspring from slipping out of my headlock – I mean warm embrace – to run pell-mell and shrieking with glee up and down the aisles; or, once back in my vice-like grip – I mean loving arms – to toss with amazing accuracy his half-eaten Goldfish crackers into the hair of the elderly woman sitting in front of us who clearly doesn’t have grandchildren of her own – or if she does, she really doesn’t like them; or, when done with that delightful activity, to springboard himself from my lap in shockingly successful attempts to body-slam his finally-content older siblings who are simply trying to quietly watch another Pixar film he’s not yet old enough to appreciate; and don’t even get me started on trying to change diapers in those tiny nooks they call a lavatory…), but travelling one-parent-one-child might, just might, make our dreams of international globetrotting a more affordable and realistic possibility.
So, one week later (and in hindsight, what possessed us to move so quickly?? Were we really in such a hurry to rip my heart apart?!), two tickets were purchased for Iceland. And now those tickets have just been redeemed.
Yes, four months later, and I dropped off two necessary-for-my-life pieces of my heart at the airport (two REALLY excited and near-giggly pieces of my heart, by the way), to fly from our home in Seattle to Reykjavik, the farthest-northern capital city of the world. I dropped them off, hugged them tightly, forced them to take some pictures (okay some more pictures), hugged them tightly again, and watched them walk into the airport. Without me.
I got back in the car and cried.
Of course, I cry at Kleenex commercials, but still… this temporary departure of two of my most favorite people, two souls who are so profoundly important to my life, is shockingly hard on me. What was I thinking??!! This isn’t a good idea!! This is a BAD idea!! This is two precious pieces of my heart flying further and further away from me every single minute for the next seven hours and fifteen minutes! And then STAYING away from me for SEVEN whole days! And six nights!
How do I live that long without the one piece of my heart that keeps me grounded and sane when I start spinning with all the craziness in my life (like RIGHT NOW?!), the piece of my heart that knows laughter is the secret to enjoying life, the louder and more heartfelt the better (and who will tell me the inappropriate jokes that I shouldn’t find funny?!)? How do I live that long without the other piece of my heart that motivates me always to fully revel and delight in the moment, this very moment, (rather than mope in the sadness of goodbyes), the piece of my heart that knows no bounds to the joy her body can hold or her voice can express (and who will spontaneously hug me so tightly my ribs hurt when I clearly just need a hug to get out of the doldrums?!)?
For the record, I’m thinking all this one-parent-one-child adventure mumbo-jumbo can take a flying leap. Who needs airplanes? Who needs foreign travel? All that soul-enriching, horizon-expanding, relationship-strengthening, character-building NONSENSE can just take a backseat to my need to be complete. My need to be WHOLE.
Because I won’t be WHOLE again until all the pieces of my heart are back together. Back talking and giggling and exchanging pleasantries and news about the day TOGETHER.
All that to say, if I don’t get a Skype call from the devilishly handsome piece of my heart with the wicked sense of humor, and the adorably precocious piece of my heart with the grin that can turn a frown upside down in 0.23 seconds flat, within exactly two minutes and twenty-eight seconds of him being able to check into their rental apartment (hey, I’m being more than generous here – how long can it really take for them to log in to the wifi?!), I will either bite my lip off, melt into a puddle of worry and tears, or simply take matters into my own hands and contact the Icelandic Coast Guard (all four ships, one survey boat, three helicopters, one plane, and all 165 officers and crew of it).
Wait. Reykjavik is seven hours ahead of Seattle… And Bill and Paisley can check in to their flat at 1pm their time… which means, plus the two minutes and twenty-eight seconds I’m allotting for wifi-login-time… that’d be 6:02:28 in the morning my time.
I think my heart can stay incomplete until at least 7am.
But rest-assured. The countdown? It’s ON.
And after our little Skype chat? I’m going to draw up a paper calendar and mark an X through each day until my heart is TRULY whole again (because a phone call, even a free video phone call from overseas*) just isn’t enough.
Six nights and counting… (and the dang dogs better not eat MY calendar!)
*Okay, I do have to take a quick minute out of my self-absorbed whining to fully admire how far technology has come. I mean really, it was only 18 years ago that I was on the CUTTING EDGE when I could email – ooh! email! – my then almost-new boyfriend from my university in England, and the one hour-long phone call we made to each other cost more than $100 (!!). Now? Now we can just Skype – for FREE – between our cell phones (or computers, but really, I love my phone), and I can actually SEE as well as HEAR all about what’s happening, clear on the other side of the PLANET. Okay, whining over. Life is cool.