Thursday, February 9, 2012

Separation Anxiety

From the very start, I knew I couldn't go to Vietnam with N and Sabine to visit my sister-in-law who was recently assigned to work there. I had work commitments plus, Anissa has intense daily training sessions for her upcoming cheering competitions. I didn't have much choice but to pass up on the chance to go. N persisted up to the very last minute in trying to convince me to join them, saying that I'd be gone only for 2 working days. But I don't like the thought of leaving Anissa behind (even if our trusted Yayay of almost 16 yrs can very well care for her). He was so sure he wanted to bring Sabine with him. I didn't take him seriously at first. In the first place, he's not your typical hands-on Dad. I always handle the dirty work when it comes to the kids (not complaining ... well, maybe slightly complaining hehe but I've really come to terms with this already). So I asked him ...

Are you going to feed her?
Wash her?
Bathe her?

His reply, of course, to all of the questions was a definite YES. I even went to the extent of conniving with my sister-in-law in Vietnam and told her not to help out, to let him experience all these things for a change. She laughed. Didn't believe he wouldn't enlist her assistance, but noted my little request. *insert evil smirk here*

But that's deviating from the topic ...

I spoke to Sabine next. She became clingy eversince I left the corporate circuit. Needs me to do things with her all the time. Even simple tasks like waiting for her to finish her business in the bathroom. I told her I couldn't go to Vietnam with them. She wondered at first, but accepted it quite well. HUH? Where was the reaction I had expected to get? There were no questions from her, not even a "But Mommy, I want you to go. You have to go!" I thought it was a fluke. Turns out it wasn't.

This morning, I woke her and N up at 2am so we could all leave for the airport at 3. Normally, she'd ask for a few more minutes to sleep. This time, she quite quickly got out of bed and asked me to freshen her up. In the car on the way to NAIA Terminal 2, she kept asking how much longer it would be before we got there. I was convinced my baby girl was okay about my not going on this trip with her. Naturally, I felt a slight pinch. This was the first time ever that she's going somewhere without me. And for FOUR DAYS. I don't know what I'm more nervous about ... the fact that I won't see her for 96 hours or the fact that her Dad is clueless about how to take care of her LOL!

This is what she looked like en route to the airport

Wide awake and bright-eyed at 3 something in the morning

When we got to the departure area, she kissed me, hugged me then walked toward the entrance holding her Dad's hand ... not once looking back to see if I was still there. Was it painful for me to see this big change in her? A little. But what really dawned on me was this ...

I AM THE ONE who will miss her more
I AM THE ONE who will worry no end about how she's doing while she's away
(not to completely disregard the fact that she's with her own father)
I AM THE ONE who needs to know that I'll be okay

As far as she's concerned, she's already said it to me before she left
"Mommy, I'm leaving for Vietnam with Dada tomorrow. Awwwww I'm really going to miss you but I'll be fine."

I can't help but marvel at how much she has changed. I'm sure that if she were less excited about something, she wouldn't be able to let go of me so easily. But the fact that she was able to still amazes me. She's 5 years old. I was an extremely clingy child until right about before I hit my teenage years. But really, despite that pinch (which I am still feeling, by the way) I am so proud of her. Hooray for baby steps to independence!

In the meantime, I'm swamped with work today. All the better. Plus, I'm looking forward to some really precious bonding time with my teenager.

Thank God for technology, I have a Facetime nightly appointment with my "mag-ama" starting later. I can't wait to hear stories of how their first day went!

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