Tag Archives: Washington DC

Letting Go of Wanting to Hold On

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Tuesday morning my son departed to Washington, DC on a school trip with his fifth grade classmates. What an interesting day Tuesday was for me. Excited for him to have this amazing experience, but sad for me because my boy was leaving without me. The day before, while he was in school, I packed his bag organizing his outfits by day in big space bags. I wrote notes and placed them in every bag to surprise him every day. That night as I’m tucked him in bed he started crying and he said, “Mami, I’m going to miss you and Papi and Camila”. The crying went on for awhile so I told him that he really didn’t have to go, but he said he wanted to. I kissed him and hugged him and he finally fell asleep.
4:00 am came and the alarm went off, I woke up and realized that, that morning my boy was leaving. I got bombarded with thoughts, “Will he be ok? Is he going to get home sick? I don’t want him to suffer. I don’t want him to be miserable all the way across the country. Oh my gosh!!! I’m going to miss my boy” I was freaking out but I managed to get him up pretending I was excited and trying to keep it together. See, my boy had never been away from home without close family, so this trip is a big deal. We made it to the airport by 6:00 AM. My husband pulled up by the curve side as we were told to do, and we got out of the car. Gabriel hugged his dad goodbye and he started to cry. Immediately I took my phone and told them to pose for a picture, that took some of the intensity of the moment off. I walked in the terminal with him and right away the teacher leader of his group gave him his ticket and told him to get in line. Some kids were crying, some were laughing with friends and some were just going with the motion -Gabriel. He checked in at the counter with his luggage like a big boy and was immediately directed to the security check point line all while I looked from the distance. He wouldn’t make eye contact with me and I realized it was his way of coping with the moment. He made it through the check point, grabbed his jacket and backpack and was about to walk away until I screamed “Gabriel” he looked back, I waived, he waived back and off he went. I didn’t get to hug him nor kiss him goodbye.
My husband and I got back to the house and he went to work and then it hit me “OH SSSSSHHHHNAP I DIDN’T KISS MY BOY. I DIDN’T HUG HIM” and I started crying like a little girl. I know that was the best thing to do, not to hug him or kiss him because he and I know that would have been it. He would have lost it and so would have I, but man… I know this is a trip he will remember for the rest of his life. I know he is going to learn and have a blast. I know this is a growing experience for him and for me. I know allowing him to grow and experience things on his own is necessary and that we as parents won’t be able to hold on to them forever. I also know that letting go of wanting to hold on is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do.
I miss my boy and I know he misses me but thank God for technology. The teachers have been posting pictures on twitter for the mental health of parents like me and once in awhile I can see him smiling and that makes this whole crazy thing a tiny bit easier. It’s only day 3 and I’m counting down the days to his return.
So I leave you now because I need to go back to twitter to see if I can see my boy one more time before he goes to bed.
CHEERS!

til next time,
Cynthia

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It’s Only Fifth Grade…

Today I woke up feeling overwhelmed by fifth grade. At the beginning of last month I decided, after a few therapy sessions, to ease up on my boy.  I told him that he needed to take charge of his school work and that I was there for him if he needed me, but I was not going to babysit him as far as homework. Well, yesterday I got the “point letter”. The point letter is a monthly report fifth grade parents at our school get, explaining how many points your child lost during the month and how many points he/she got left. Kids start with 100 points every month and should try to keep at least 85. This is a way to teach them responsibility, make them accountable in qualifying for their fifth grade trip to Washington DC, and to drive parents into insanity. Points are taken off when they miss assignments, or forget to turn something in, or when talking too much in class etc. His point letter didn’t look good. He had misplaced some papers, or forgotten his binder at school or whatever. The issue is, his point letter didn’t look good and that took me on a spiral down. I felt it was my fault for easing up on him. I felt like as if those were my points. I felt it was a reflection of something I did wrong.

Thank God for therapy! A few weeks ago I scheduled my therapy session for today. I guess God knew I was going to need it this particular Thursday. In therapy I brought up the reason I was feeling down and went on to explain the whole point letter thing. My therapist looked at me and with that particular therapist’s smile and tone of voice said to me “Oh Cynthia why are you sweating the small stuff?”. “Small stuff? Did she just say that?” I thought. She continued to say ” fifth grade is not important to get into college, if he is loosing points he will figure it out. The important thing is that he learns what he needs to learn in fifth grade and that’s all” as she is telling me this I’m feeling weight being lifted off my shoulders. I knew this, why couldn’t I see it? Well, a lot has to do with the way I was raised and the high expectations I place on myself on a daily basis. She went on to teach me a relaxation exercise so I can use throughout the day.  She told me to close my eyes, take a deep breath…imagine I was on a vacation…smell the ocean…feel the breeze…and right when this was getting relaxing my stomach growls so loud that I had no choice but to burst into a big laugh. I went out of therapy feeling so much better and straight to eat lunch 🙂

I learned not sweat the small stuff, that I need to learn to relax and make sure I eat something before therapy. As per my boy, he will be fine. It’s only fifth grade.  So for now I’ll pour some relaxation into my glass while I meditate on what I learned today 😉

til next time,

Cynthia

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