I dropped my son off at the airport this morning and it’s amazing how challenging these moments can be. He probably would’ve been okay if I had dropped him off at the curb instead of taken him through baggage check-in, but neither my wife nor myself would’ve been completely comfortable with that. But not walking him through security seemed like a good compromise in my head. Of course, if he had said he wanted me to go with him, I would’ve, but he was ready to start his adventure and I don’t want to be in the way of that.
It’s also challenging because as a parent I need to be ready to be rejected. I need to ask him what he wants and be okay if he doesn’t want me, for instance, to take him through security. But I need to find the balance between independence and parental responsibility. That’s why I parked and made sure he got his baggage taken care of, though I let him handle the whole process, just there in case something went wrong.
I also was sad to see him go, but I can’t let him see that. I told him how proud of him I was. I told him how much I love him. But for him to see me sad, I think, only makes things harder for him. I want him to have his own experience--not one based on mine. It will be great for him, but our family won’t be the same until he returns.