I am at the airport checking in for my flight to Florence via Frankfurt. As I felt last time I flew alone, I feel acutely light: haven't I forgotten something? I hope not, but in the meantime, I believe it's just the surreal weightlessness of traveling without the kids. I'm not used to it yet. And while I'm decidedly skilled at saying goodbye when a sitter comes for a few hours or the boys spend a weekend with my in-laws, I find it difficult -surprisingly so, really- to get on a plane without them. Perhaps because a plane trip suggests I'm really going somewhere, probably for more than 48 hours, certainly further than a 20 mile radius from home. Too I noticed that after I married Tom, then following Jack's birth and then Oliver's, flying started to make me not a little nervous. There was -is!- so much to lose. So, the actual point at which I kiss each of those treasures goodbye is the hardest moment.
This morning, in the throes of packing and nearing the last goodbye, I baked cookies for the boys and left them wrapped at the end of a scavenger hunt I made up. There are only four or five clues, but I know they'll love solving each one. Look how cute the final scene is!
Now that I'm in the cog of the airport's wheel, it's back to business. I'm armed with all manner of reading and listening material, an eye mask and my toothbrush. And I'm very much looking forward to seeing all the family and friends swooping into Florence for Elia's wedding. Whee!