In exactly one day, I will be putting my firstborn on an airplane and I will not see her for 16 days. Not only that, I am sending her halfway across the world so she can be in Israel for her oldest cousin’s Bar Mitzvah. The problem is that I agreed to this when Emily was about 4-years-old and she convinced my inlaws to take her. She has been waiting for this for 5 years. And I have been in denial for about that long. I mean, it’s not like I’m a – GASP – helicopter mom. I’ve left her before. I believe in babysitters. I had a nanny for six years. Sure, I’ve hauled the kids with me all over the planet many, many times…but having kids didn’t stop me from going to New York for a few days, from going to blogher conferences, from going on a much-needed trip to St. Lucia with the very best of friends.
But this is different. I won’t be leaving her. I am not the one jet-setting. It’s her. She is leaving me. Going on a plane – without me. Going to another country – without me. Having the time of her life – without me. and the truth is, I know she’ll be more than fine. She’s in the capable hands of her father and his parents and all three of his sisters. And I know that she’ll be fine when I put her on a plane to NYC to spend a few days with my sister. And I know she’ll be fine when I put her on a bus to go off to sleepover camp.
clearly someone is ready. Also, possibly 16.
But me, I’m popping copious amounts of tums. And stressing like hell.
Because, like the girls over at Girl Talk Thursday, I’m afraid to do many things. Like…
Travel by boat. I don’t much care for boats. It’s not just the emetophobic anxiety I get about getting the barfs; that is a big part of it, though. I mean, honestly, how often are those huge cruise ships in the news for outbreaks of the norwalk virus? OFTEN, I tell you. TOO OFTEN. And don’t get me started on motion sickness…why would I willingly get on a vessel that I would need to wear a goddamn anti-vomit patch. I am also terrified of open water. Yessiree, I have seen Jaws and I can tell you that there’s not a chance in hell I will ever swim with sharks, or scuba dive, or even snorkel. It’s just Â not for me. I’ll stick to the pool thankyouverymuch where I can see the floor.
Watching static on the TV. Oh, that friggin’ Samara kid from The Ring. Scarred me for life. I’m usually not all that scared by horror movies. Mostly, I laugh through them and talk incessantly about how ridiculous they are, especially when they throw people like Jessica Biel or Ryan Reynolds into them…oh, and remember when Paris Hilton was in a scary movie? Yeah…she was the scariest thing about that picture. There are a few exception, of course. The Shining. The Ring. IT. Psycho. The Birds (fucking birds, man. kids and birds and clowns).
Getting a tattoo. I’m not scared of the pain, or the permanence of it. I have already discussed this ad nauseum with my sister. We would get matching snowflakes on our ankles. I mean, we did grow up in Wisconsin. it’s perfect, right? No…what I am scared of isÂ my mother. There are only so many times you can hear your mom’s voice in your head saying, “Jewish girls don’t get tattoos! You can’t get buried in a JewishÂ cemetery!” before THE GUILT sets in.
Going into the basement alone. Mostly because I think there are clowns down there. Totally rational, yes?
Driving my stick shift in the snow. I drive stick. YES I DO. I’m pretty great at it and I feel kind of a tremendous sense of satisfaction while I’m driving. A somewhat I’m-sexier-than-you-are feel, even though I’m driving a Honda Civic. But, in the snow? I am a big giant sweatball. I am scared to death. Seriously, I drive, like, 8 miles an hour with my hands at 10 and 2.
Showering when no one is home. Jesus, I have seen Psycho. I’m not taking that chance.