On the plane.
This morning I woke The Imp at an ungodly hour because last night he told me he wanted to come to the airport to say goodbye to Mom.
He calls me "Mom" now. He's three, and he calls me "Mom". If "Mama" went by the wayside in exchange for "Mommy!" way too early, I'm really not ready to be just "Mom". I've got a lot of my own identity tied up in being "Mommy." "Mommy" is needed; the kisser of hurts, the smoother of a feverish brow, the watcher in the night, the knower of things. "Mommy" is the provider of cuddles for those blissful drifting off to sleep moments when the eyelids droop and the breathing slows. "Mommy" is still holding on when the startles of early slumber shake little boy limbs.
But "Mom" - "Mom" is letting go. "Mom" is watching big boy legs run away to play at daycare drop off. "Mom" is having to ask for a hug and a kiss while distracted eyes look past to playground friends. "Mom" is help with homework, source of money for video games, and maker of unjust rules.
"Mom" never lets me have any fun!
He's only three. I'm not ready to be "Mom" yet.
This is parenthood, isn't it? A long, aching, drawn out process of holding tight and letting go.
They are coming around with headphones now. (Damn, why do I never remember to bring my own? I have a growing pile of Air Canada be-logoed headphones at home.)
He wanted to come to the airport to say goodbye. Insisted he didn't want to sleep in with Dad.
(At least he's also dropped "Daddy" in favour of "Dad". That comforts me, like there's a fairness there. "It's not just me he's walking away from," my ego says. My ego doesn't give a damn about ending a sentence with a preposition, apparently.)
So I woke him up, and he was not happy.
"I don't want you to go to Toronto," he pouted. "I don't want you to go!" he shouted.
"I will fight you," he stated, matter of factly.
Is it bad that I was pleased he wanted me to stay? Is it awful that I still couldn't wait to go - to have an adventure for and by myself?
I just paid $10.08 for a chicken wrap and a can of Pringles. The freedom! The glamour of modern air travel!
It's been over three years since I've been on a flight alone. I bought a New Yorker at the airport magazine stand, just because I could. No interruptions, no questions, no reassurances, no thinking about anyone but me. No little grasping hands.
(I miss the little grasping hands.)
I'm going to Blissdom Canada today. Let the adventure begin.