This weekend was a humongous, gigantic milestone for me. Surprising even to myself, I let my child - my off-spring, my BABY - travel by herself across state lines. Alone. Solo. Without me!
For seven months, Halle has been saving her money so she could buy airline tickets to visit her Aunt Ashlee and Uncle Bret in Las Vegas, just for fun. She did extra chores and on more than one occasion denied herself opportunities to purchase temptations so her money could slowly add up. She had a great attitude about it and rarely complained. So for her birthday, Brett and I decided our gift to her would be one of his Southwest tickets he had earned from several business trips. She was beside herself when we told her and I felt proud of her, knowing she had pretty much earned it herself.
Halle was excited for the trip (driving us batty by counting down everyday from about two weeks prior) and thrilled at her opportunity for independence. I was happy for her, but it took all I had not to cry. However, I did NOT cry when I sent her up into the airplane - do you know how huge that was for me? Granted, I had to focus on some heavy-duty Lamaze breathing and blinked about a billion times to keep the tears at bay, but I bit my lower lip and kept it all in. I think I did a pretty dang good job of pretending I thought this was the most awesome idea in the entire world, when every instinct within me wanted to shout, "Who's lame suggestion was this?!"
A wave of relief swept over me when Ashlee called about an hour later to assure me my baby girl had arrived safely and was in the protective care of my wonderful sister-in-law! She returned last night and I could not walk fast enough to the gate to collect her. She may have been gone only 3 days but they were days that were too quiet. We definitely need our little Halle-Bally in our lives and are so grateful she had this opportunity, but even more thankful she came home safely to us!
Thank you, Ashlee and Bret, for setting aside your own personal time to let her come and have this experience. It was amazing for her and a major growth-opportunity for her mom!
(I have pictures, but am borrowing Brett's computer so I don't want to put the pix from my camera on here right now - guess I'll have to add them later.)