I'm really looking forward to that moment, even though it's years away. This week is one of the high points of the summer.
The first time Grandma asked if Mini Me could go, I was hesitant. She hadn't been away from me for more than a few days, and this time, we'd be hundreds of miles apart. I ran through the gamut of possibilities. What if she fell and skinned her knee? What if she fell and broke her knee? What if she fell and lost her knee?
My mind has the ability to move from the rational to the ridiculous in a short amount of time. So, I had to force myself to focus on what was really bothering me:
What if she didn't miss me at all?
Back then, part of me believed that a kid didn't love you unless they were begging to come home the second the parents were out of sight. I agreed for her to go, packed her bags, and waited for the phone ring.
I didn't hear a peep from her all week. She came home with legs covered in mosquito bumps and a sack full of okra from Great-Grandma's garden. Then she spent the next seven days giving me a blow-by-blow of her adventure.
"Did you miss mommy?" I asked.
"Sure," my big girl said. "That's why I'm telling you about all the fun I had."
I now know that separation is necessary. It's actually a good sign if your kiddo is confident enough to try things in her own. It means that Mini Me is on her way to being a self-sufficient young woman, and I don't have to worry about fixing up the basement for our adult daughter who's never leaving home.
It also means that Hubby and I are treated to a well deserved break. We didn't get as much rest this year with Lil Ma still about, but past vacations included massages, movies, dinners and sleeping in.
Every year when Mini Me leaves, I have a miniscule moment of guilt about enjoying our time apart. It passes quickly once I remember some wise words from my aunt.
"Kids can't be with their parents all the time," she said. "Besides, you can get on a kids nerves just as much as they can get on yours."