Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Two loooooong weeks without my girl...

***warning...loong post.  wanted to remember my thoughts about this trip, so this is really for me, but if you want to read it, that works, too!  :-)

Kendra is in Utah visiting her dad for two weeks.  While I know this is common for kids of divorce to have to do, it was the first time she's ever gone.  The longest she's ever been away from home has been three days prior to this trip, so it's been a big deal for her AND me.

I'll start with the prep.  Kirk wanted her to come last year, but she just didn't feel ready to fly on a plane alone.  While it didn't make him happy, he agreed to delay the trip to this summer with the understanding that she didn't get a choice this time around.  She had to go, whether she was nervous about flying or not.  We both did a lot of praying and Kendra even fasted so that she would feel safe and comfortable on the plane, and we were both pretty calm about the whole thing.  We thought about getting Kendra one of those little "Go" phones so she could have access to a phone whenever she wanted to call me instead of having to ask her dad to use his.  We ended up deciding on not getting one as it would have been about $100 and she has a iPad with a texting app.  We decided she could text me when at the house and use her dad's phone if she wanted to call.  It is a good thing we didn't make that investment---that comes later in the story.

So the day arrived and we got to the airport with plenty of time to spare.  When you have a minor traveling alone the person bringing them to the airport gets a gate pass to walk them back, and you have to stay until the plane is actually in the air.  They boarded Kendra very first.  It surprised us both---we weren't expecting or ready for her to get on the plane when they called her.  So I walked her over, gave her a quick hug, said "I love you!" and she headed down the boarding thingy.  Kendra is such a tender heart and she knew this was going to be hard for me, so she hurried away.  Unfortunately, the flight attendant looked at her and said, "Oh, honey, it will be ok." so then I knew she was crying.   :-(.  Ya'll, let me tell you.  That sucked.  BIG time sucked.  And then I had to sit in the gate, boo-hooing my eyes out.  And you know those people who look so pretty when they cry?  Not me.  So there I sat, ugly-crying for about 45 minutes while waiting for the dang plane to get up in the air.  Ugh.  I guess it was better than crying and driving, right?

So I used this way-cool app to track the plane---it even showed you exactly where the plane was on a map.  Thank you, Sherry!  Kendra got to Utah in a couple hours, and her dad texted to say she was there and all right.  Whew.  I was relieved.  Kendra had told me she would text right when she got there from her iPad, but I didn't hear from her so I was glad when Kirk let me know.

Fast forward a couple hours and I just had to talk to Kendra.  I really wanted to respect Kirk's time with Kendra and not be a bug, but I needed to hear her.  So I called, and she told me a tiny bit about the flight, was rather one-word answer-ish, etc.  I thought that was weird, but I knew it had been a long, emotional day so I just let it go.  The next day she texted me a little bit, but again, she didn't really elaborate at all about what she was doing.  By Wednesday I was a small basketcase because I wasn't hearing from her and when I was, it didn't sound like her at all.  Normally she is a chatty cathy with me.  So I called.  Again, the stilted conversation, so I lost it.  I tried not to lose it with her on the phone, but I think she heard some tears.  Finally, bells went off in my head and I figured it out (and here's the part where it was a good thing we didn't shell out 100 bucks on a "GO" phone!) .   Talking on the phone with me was making Kendra MORE sad and homesick.  Texting was ok, but hearing me was upsetting her.  I knew this about her...when we leave Michigan each summer she is in a funk missing her cousins, and when I suggest calling them she always says no because it makes it worse for her.  So this is what was happening with this trip, and while it is killing me (because I am NOT like her---talking to those I miss makes it easier for me, not harder), I do not want to make it harder on her so I have only texted with her.  Ugh.  Hard stuff for a momma!!!

The thing about texting is that you can't get very many details texting with a ten year old  with limited typing abilities.  :-)  And, another weird thing is that Kendra is being pretty elusive with the details--if I ask about something she did she gives a one or two word answer and then asks me a question about what I'm doing.  Very weird.  I'm going to have to get to the bottom of that when she gets back! I'm sure I'll have a post about her trip when she gets here and gives me details.  She also took her camera so I'll have pics, too.  Kirk has sent me a couple, and so has Kirk's sis in law, Larissa.  Here's what little I know so far....

They went on a church campout.  Kendra made several friends who live in her dad's neighborhood and attend the same church service as he does.  Fun!

They went to Olympic Park in Park City where they got to ride the ski lift up and take this little chute down the mountain.
 They took a trip up to Idaho to see Spencer (Kirk's brother), Larissa and the kids.  Kendra has four boy cousins in that family, and she had only met two back when they were all much tinier!

They've also been to Thanksgiving Point, and Kirk is also taking her to Lagoon, a amusement park, and to the zoo and aquarium this week.   She's getting to enjoy lots of fun activities that I can't wait to hear more about!  After a few days of low-detail texts I finally asked her to jot down a few things about each day in a journal she took with her so she would remember things to tell me.  She liked that idea...I just hope she is doing it!  :-)

Now, for what I've been doing.  Trying to keep busy has been the plan.  I've spent time with friends at my pool, volunteered for my friend's foundation for a morning, gotten a facial (birthday gift from my friends), gotten my hair done, and went to a movie all by myself for the first time!  I also made a to-do list for things to get done around the house.

Almost all checked!
I've had this shelf for Kendra's room for over a year...finally got it hung up!

Organized the linen closet toiletry was a mess!
 And this is the job I am most proud of...I went online and watched a video tutorial to learn how to do a tune up/oil change on my lawnmower.  Sadly, I had neglected maintenance on the thing since I bought it four years ago.  Turns out it really isn't hard at all---I just needed to learn HOW to do it!  And I did!  Yay me!
Kendra comes home in five days.  Five more days of keeping busy and five more days of wishing I could talk to her.  I have several more things on the docket in addition to finishing the list---getting my nails done with a friend tomorrow (using a gift certificate that very friend gave me), playing volleyball with my coworker friends tonight (yes, me, volleyball--shocking), going to a farewell party for friends moving away, and seeing Brave with some more friends on Friday afternoon.   It's all good.

I found this free printable on Pinterest (sorry, deleted the link so can't give proper credit).  I printed it and put it in a frame for Kendra's room.  I thought it was perfect, because even though this trip wasn't cancer or a car accident or job loss or any number of other hard things that many people face, this trip was hard for Kendra and me.  And we CAN do hard things.