Holding Down the Tamper on My Breaking Mommy Heart

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"I toured Europe for a summer when I was 22," I say. "Now it's your turn."

I stand there, mouth hitched up on one side until I think of something else.

"And your cousin, Rachel? She's been a nanny in England and Spain. Spent a year in Buenos Aires too. If she can do it, so can you."

I came up with another one yesterday. "In eight months all your traveling will be done and you'll be home for good." I cupped both sides of my face and grinned. A minute later I had another thought and my shoulders sagged.

"But then you'll be off to college," I said. "At least there you'll only be four hours away instead of half a world."

Half a world away. Where I can't fix you supper, pet your Pantene-scented curls, take care of you if you get sick. What if you get sick, baby?

Then there were tears. Again. I'd dug my fingertips into my wet eyelids and hissed.

"I'm not going to drink any more water. Ever. Then you'll go away. Dry up. Right?"

Tonight after supper, I phoned my best friend from high school. She has a grown up girl of her own. I hadn’t planned on sobbing but I did.

“She'll be fine," my friend said. "She’s a good girl. Super smart. She’ll do fine.”

I sniffed, nodded, hung up. So she wouldn’t hear my crying hiccups. I decided weeping is like Advil when I have the flu. It helps for about four hours then the symptoms -- tears, runny nose, urge to clutch at my heart -- return. When I’m heartsick, the tears are always there, simmering, just below the surface. Threatening to uncurl my eyelashes and wend little creeks through my blush.

Oh, heaven’s. Look at the time. It's after midnight now. You know what that means, don't you? Just 26 more days.

 

Photo Credit: arenamontanus.

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