They Left on a Jet Plane…

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…

Bill and Paisley leave for Iceland

Bill and Paisley at the airport. Today. On their way to ICELAND. 3,610 miles away from ME. Could their smiles be any bigger?!

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.

Father and Daughter

My two devastatingly cute, and now missing, pieces of my heart. Taken right before driving to the airport. Where they continued smiling, together, all the way into the terminal…

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.

Huh.

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.

Self Portrait with Daughter

I couldn’t resist adding this photo, it’s so sweet – I took it right after the first heading-to-the-airport photo shoot. I expect – I BETTER – see lots of these types of photos from their travels in Iceland on Facebook in the next few days. Luckily, Bill is MASTER of the self-portrait.

13 thoughts on “They Left on a Jet Plane…

  1. I can’t wait to hear about their adventures, and i think the time will go by quickly for you. i’m guessing the boys will be slightly off kilter w/o dad and big sis; hence, more work for you!

    • Rather than returning home to a house that, as you say, feels slightly off, I have run away with the boys to my mom’s place in Gig Harbor! Extra hands and lots of fun distractions here, so yes, I’m sure you’re right and the time will go by quickly! In the meantime, I will keep my eye on FB for the photos Bill said he’d post; can’t wait to see if they end up going on the horse ride through “fairy country” or go on a whale-watching boat tour… 🙂

  2. “I think my heart can stay incomplete until at least 7am.” is classic! I laughed so loudly my ayi asked if I was ok. I am so happy for Bill and Paisley. What an adventure! And Jill, you are seeing the world through some pink-ass glasses right now: “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.” I’m envisioning the REAL FAMILIES OF 18th AVE right now and I see a little less exchanging of pleasantries and little more, um, sibling battery, mom exasperation and dog mayhem, at least until wine-thirty! 🙂 Hang in there, distance makes the heart grow fonder! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    • Hahaha! Shhh! Don’t blow my cover! It’s all June Cleaver and Father Knows Best happiness at THIS 18th Ave home! The children wear only clean and freshly-pressed clothing, eat all their vegetables, do their homework quickly and without complaint, and never ever not ever use sarcasm or vulgarity when talking to their perfectly coiffed mother who never ever resorts to drinking even a sip of wine before wine-thirty! 😉 Well… I *did* cry. Speaking of distance and fondness, I’m thinking you and I need a Skype and wine date SOON! xoxo

    • Yes! They Skyped me this morning (at 6:32am my time – an early but wonderful wake-up call) and had already gone swimming at one of the local hot springs, and Paisley was all giggly about a water slide she’d gone down. And that was after not sleeping a wink on the entire flight over! She is SO ready to make some serious memories! Hope Bill can keep up with her. 😉

  3. Oh, I totally get how you are feeling! Wow, what a great adventure for them, and what a HUGE sacrifice for you (I am not being snarky, I mean it!) Just hold on to this thought: for the next five years, at least, every time you ask one of them for a favor, they will have to look back on this and think, “Jeez. We kinda owe her.”
    Seriously, what a tremendous experience for the two fo them to have together. Truly a lifetime of memories.

    • It really *is* pretty special! But the cool part is that I get the next one-parent-one-child trip (next summer: Paris!). Not so shabby! But I wonder: will it be as difficult for me to leave Bill and the boys in Seattle? Why do I think it will be significantly easier for ME to get on that plane? 😉

  4. You know what this makes you? It makes you simultaneously the coolest mom and the coolest wife EVER. They better bring you serious souvenirs. Like … a reindeer. Or something. What do they have in Iceland? Cheese, right? They make cheese there.

    • Haha! If it was up to my daughter, I’d definitely get one of the Icelandic ponies that are unique to the country, LOL! I believe Bill was contemplating scarves, Icelandic sweaters, and chocolate as appropriate souvenirs. However, apparently hot dogs are very popular in Iceland, so maybe that’ll be the souvenir of choice?! 😉

  5. I wouldn’t take being left behind very well either, but MAN! how awesome would it be at your daughter’s age to go to Iceland! I hope she returns with a swan dress and says, “sinkyou” just like Bjork.

    • Omigod! That would’ve been the best souvenir EVAH!!! I didn’t even think to ask (go ahead – smack me in the head!). Sadly, they only brought me back (gorgeous, beautiful) SCARVES. And (insanely tasty) CHOCOLATE. And (really adorable and sometimes breath-taking) PHOTOS. But really. Now? All I want is that damn swan dress (my daughter’s size, my size, it’s all necessary now that you brought it up)!! For the record, I’m pretty sure it was the 25th question I asked upon their return stateside: “Did you see Bjork?!” And no, they did not see her. How lame is that?? Guess they’ll just have to go back… 😉 Uh, but with me…

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