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My baby is on a bus to New York City. She left this morning at 5 am with the History Club from school. She’s going to see West Point and The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and Ground Zero and the musical Phantom of the Opera. And probably a gazillion other things she’s never seen in her life.

Now, I am a very practical mother. I don’t get overly sentimental about things and, while I love my child fiercely, I’m used to her going away on vacation with other people. So how come I keep seeing this face in my mind?
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And how come, the minute she left, after I gave her all my last minute advice about being careful with her money and staying with the group and paying attention and not kissing any boys, how come a million other things I should have told her started playing in my head? Things like, call me when you get there and don’t talk to strangers and wear a shirt over the skimpy bikini you talked me into buying because there’s a pool at the hotel. Sigh.

I’m sure she’ll be fine but, Betty? And Juno? And Cassie? You guys know me so could you do me a favor and keep an eye out for her? If you see her, stick some yarn in her hand and get her back on that bus, please.

I took this picture last Thursday when we went to see Wicked (which was wicked good, by the way) so this is what she looks like right now.
Kind of like me only younger and thinner and prettier. And everyone else, would you send good, safe thoughts in her general direction? Those of you who have kids young enough to know where they are every minute, enjoy it while it lasts. Because before you know it, they’ll be on a bus going somewhere without you. And you’ll be at home, knitting furiously, trying to stay calm about the whole thing.

This Post Has 37 Comments

  1. I get nervous just thinking about it. The Princess is the oldest and this has been her first year of PreK. They had a field trip two weeks ago and parents and siblings (age 3 and up) could go. Well the Poulette is only 20mos so I couldn’t go and you know, the Princess didn’t want to go without me. I couldn’t believe it. She stayed home that day and we went to the zoo. I know however she’ll want to get on the bus without me one day and I’m already nervous.

    I’m sure Hannah will do well and be very safe since she has been raised by her level headed and very wise mom. And whether they like it or not, that sorta stuff does rub off!

  2. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. My big one is already showing signs that she wants some independence. Hannah will do great — she’s really a lovely girl (and I have lots of teenage babysitters, so I’m a good judge!) She also seems pretty practical. Knit on, girlfriend πŸ™‚

  3. Relax, she’ll have a wonderful time. Oh right, that’s what you’re worried about. πŸ˜‰
    If it’s any help, it does get a *little* easier each time.

  4. Safe travel vibes from here as well. Very glad to be several years away from sending mine off on his own, although I know those years will fly. She will be fine, and she will have a blast.

  5. Your baby is so beautiful. (Aren’t they always our babies?) She’s going to have so much fun and learn so many wonderful things. Safe travel vibes headed your way.

  6. Being the mother of 2 tenagers and an 8 yr old, I feel your pain. Many good thoughts being sent your way and Hannah’s. She’ll be fine …. knit away…it’ll help.

  7. Wow. Keep knitting mama, she’ll be back before you know it.

    And that smile? Exactly the same in the two pictures. What a cutie (runs in the family, apparently). πŸ™‚

  8. No worries. NYC is so tame these days it’s boring. πŸ˜‰ She’ll be fine.

    (Now if you want some stories of MY HS trip to NYC, I’ll let you know when she gets back. Suffice it to say I came here when I was seventeen and never left.)

  9. I’m sending warm, motherly, loving wishes in the general direction of NYC. More can’t hurt! πŸ™‚ She will have a fabulous time! My daugher is going to Philly on Thursday for 5 days on the band trip! So you can send some then!

  10. Damn, that’s hard!! I am getting to the point of nearly being beside myself with excitement and anticipation at the prospect of Katie returning, a week from today, from her few months of study in the U.K.!! Talk about hard… thankfully, it went quite fast. ; )

  11. She’ll be just fine – why? Because you’re the best mom in the world, so she already knows the stuff that you forgot to tell her, that’s why! ;o)

    Mine’s going to Virginia in a couple of weeks…God help the Virginians ;o)

  12. I, too, say relax. I love NYC – have always had a great time there. Your baby will be fine. She’ll have a ball. She’ll be so glad you let her go. πŸ™‚

    Just sit down & spin or knit (and take some deep breaths).

    Just to be on the safe side, I’ll be sending good thoughts & prayers your way & hers!

  13. She’s pretty.
    She looks smart enough to listen to her mother, but, I bet that huge city is enough to scare her and keep her on her best behavior. At least it would me. πŸ˜‰
    You’re so funny! You may be worried sick about your daughter, but you’re still thinking about yarn. heh.

  14. Don’t worry Carole! I’m here all week long. She’s gonna be just fine. Anyone dares to mess with her they’re gonna have to freakin’ deal with me.

    Wanna send me her schedule?

  15. I feel your pain, my dear! But the chances are very good that she will be fine, have a wonderful time, and be home safe before you know it!

    Can’t wait to see Wicked, btw. It comes here about a year from now. We do get to see Lion King in June, which is also supposed to be awesome!

  16. Yeah, my daughter is six and I was a wreck when she went to her first sleepover. She was fine by the way. Can’t imagine her going off on a trip – without me! Keep knitting Carole. And she’ll be fine too. You raised her well!

  17. What a gorgeous daughter! You seem to be a doting and thoughtful mom, and I’ll bet she has a very level head. Getting to travel alone at that age is very character building!

  18. I’m sure you’ve raised her with all those very same worries that you are experiencing right now. And she’ll be in a big new scary city, so you can count on her clinging to her best friends, and giggling, and having a great time. And she’ll come back safe and sound with a thousand adventures to tell you about.

  19. Miss B will be 10 on Saturday, hovering on the brink. I would so love to lock her in a tower, but I guess that would be child abuse. Sigh. Big fat happy, safe travel wishes for your baby — and a nice hot cup of virtual chamomile tea for you.

  20. I know exactly how you are feeling! Let me warn ya though….. the worries don’t ease up much – even when they’re adults! Not to scare you, but perhaps to put this mini-trip in perspective, because when a Mom is worrying, she needs to be able to relax by thinking: β€œWell, at least my situation isn’t as bad as that!”
    When my daughter was in college, she had the opportunity to study abroad in the Czech Republic. While that surely sounded like a valuable educational experience, we were scared by the prospect of having to say goodbye to her for – gulp! – three months, and also of having her sooooo far away for the first time in her life (and ours!). She decided that she would like to go, so we busied ourselves with the planning and the packing, and were ALMOST convinced that this really was “an excellent opportunity to stretch and grow in this brand new global world of ours”. We had a brave yet tearful scene at the airport. It was very tough for the first week or so, but then it got impossibly tough! She left Boston on Aug 31, 2001. Less than 2 weeks into her study abroad, on September 11th, we awoke to a horrific newscast, and the gut-wrenching realization that our darling daughter was “stuck” on the other side of the world – while this side seemed to be falling apart! There were only pay phones in her dorm and they were swamped with lines of kids wanting to call home. No planes were flying. But, was it a good idea to have her get on a plane?!? The agony! The incredible worry! It occurred to us that for all we had been missing this sweet girl of ours, maybe it was a GOOD thing she was far away from the madness and confusion that was occurring here! Talk about mixed feelings!
    We kept out sanity with the help of the internet! The long lines to use the pay phones became a non-issue. Before Sept 11th, our daughter had been emailing little newsy updates daily from an internet cafe near her dorm. As soon as she heard the news on the 11th, she instinctively ran to the cafe, and I was waiting online, here. Thank Heaven for instant messenger!!! It got us through those days! She’s 27 now and I still worry about her and her 31 yr old sister! (Had them when I was a mere child, don’t ya know! πŸ˜‰
    A mom’s worrying…… must be genetic!

  21. Ah, Carole – you’re both lovely, and I am sure that because she’s listened to your good advice, she will be just fine (and you will be, too). πŸ™‚

  22. Oh Carole- I loved this post and hated it at the same time. My Small Hollering Boys are rarely out of my sight, except when they are at school 3 minutes away. Ack! The thought of them going on a trip is horrid. I know it is unstoppable and still makes me crazy. I have been a long time lurker, sorry that this comment is my first one. Your daughter is beautiful and I am sure you have raised her beautifully.

  23. No kids here, yet, but I work at a University and with parents every day who are getting ready to make a huge step in sending their children to school, so I relate. Good thoughts for your daughter and her classmates! And for you, who has the harder part of it waiting at home!

  24. I feel your angst. And when she returns, safe and sound, remind me to tell you a really funny story about my neighbor’s daughter’s trip to NYC with the school band.

  25. oh if only “out of sight, out of mind ” were only true but its not i’m with you girlfriend

  26. KEEP KNITTING! busy fingers seem to help – mine are ages 22 and almost 16.. sigh.. and it’s still a (gasp) struggle to believe that they are not still 2 years old.. somehow a genetic thing happens when you give birth, and you get that “worry” gene..
    but she appears to have learned well from her savvy Mom.
    Sending good travel mojo your daughter’s way, and calmness to you!

  27. Yes keep knitting that’ll help. But then of course you are talking to a woman who sat outside her childs school the first day of kindergarten for TWO HOURS and cried and couldn’t bear to leave her there! What do I know?

    No seriously, I’m sure she’ll be fine but I’d be nervous too. Just shows how much you care!

  28. I am sending good thoughts your way, BUT, since you are her MOTHER, I think that all is well. She will be fine, because you have given her the benefit of your wisdom.

  29. Ah yes, Stephanie was telling me just today how it just gets worse. The kids, the worrying, just how HARD it is to be a parent. And it’s just the beginning for me. Evil post partum issues aside, I’m just grappling with fussy blu and sleepless nights and really, what IS that compared to letting your most precious roam the streets of NYC and the hell of not knowing what’s going on every second? I can’t imagine. Thank heavens for knitting, no?

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