Surprising Our Daughter At The Airport Before She Heads To Semester Overseas
Surprising our daughter seemed like the only option when I had to be in two places at once
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This was the kind of problem with only one answer.
I’d have to be two places at once.
You’ve been there, Dear Reader?
Or tried to be both “theres?”
Sunday, our oldest daughter was leaving for a semester studying overseas.
As a mother, I wanted to be here to send her off.
Months ago, I was tapped to help plan a big college reunion.
That would mean spending this same weekend in California.
I did the math.
Daughter would be home for six weeks on winter break.
Surely, we could get every single thing she needed done.
I just wouldn’t be there starting the day before she was leaving.
Made sense to me.
Made zero sense to her.
She was appalled.
This daughter who doesn’t ask for much could not believe I would not be here to see her off.
I was stumped.
“Am I missing something here?” I asked an older mom friend I respect.
“Where does she fly out of?” she asked.
I unpacked the crazy itinerary miles and points obsessed husband had cooked up for her.
The answer was Chicago.
I couldn’t get to our hometown to see her off from the beginning.
But if I left San Francisco super early Sunday morning, I could make it to Chicago and surprise her before she got on the long flight to Europe.
I was up at 3 am and on my way to the airport.
Like clockwork, Daughter landed 40 minutes before I did.
Husband came up with some crazy story why Daughter had to stick around the domestic terminal before she headed over to the international terminal.
There was some line about a family friend who wanted to come by the airport to see her off.
“How is she going to get through security?” Daughter texted Husband as the story started to fall apart.
I sprinted from my gate over to where Husband created the stall.
“Mom? Mom? What are you doing here?” she asked in total confusion as I came up to her.
“You said you wanted me to see you off,” I explained and hugged, “So, I routed my trip home to stop by here and do just that.”
I’m not saying whose,
But a few tears splashed on the airport floor.
We honestly didn’t do anything fancy in our hour together.
Which was perfect.
We had each other.
The hug she wanted.
The sendoff, turns out, we both needed.
And so, it was.
With the help of a wise friend, a co-conspirator husband, and two on time flights, I managed this once to be in two places at a one time.
After one last hug,
Went walking through security and onto that plane.
Another step in literally spreading her wings.
Sometimes you’ll do anything to be by their side.
Sometimes you have to let them go.
Oh, that I could be two places at once.
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