Watching from the sideline is usually a term reserved for soccer or ballet mums. Ironically I’m on the sideline at the departure lounge of the Gold Coast International Airport.
Georgia’s has 40 minutes left on Australian soil, my mission was accomplished. This was shipping a real-life project, on time, on budget and met the specifications. My job is done.
This was my last “real time” glimpse as she moved through the customs line, having imagined this moment for several months it was strangely familiar. Sitting here watching Georgia talk with the customs official out of the corner of my eye chatting vaguely with the other parents. My moderated emotions were kept on the surface, I promised Georgia I would not cry. “There she goes” ~ our last wave as she slips around the corner, smiling.
This un-birthing in public set me on edge. Will I rise to the occasion of social graces today? That’s a hard ask. I can barely speak. Polite conversation is out of the question now. The best way forward is to leave now, don’t wait for the plane to take off. That’s too much of a test.
The little voice in my head says’s “Stand up straight, put your sunglasses on, mumble something about meeting an imaginary friend. Smile, wave, turn and go. You can do it”
At this point, I’m looking for the [emergency] exit to go through with my escape routine, with as much ease as possible. Am I a traitor leaving this early? I will think about that later because I’m distracted by the question of how will I find the car?
It’s an instant relief stepping through automatic doors into the heat, glad to leave the departure lounge behind. Now my body is talking to me with virtually no sleep the night before, coffee on an empty stomach and I’m full of antihistamines. Finally, back in my car, I sigh looking in the rear vision mirror, curious to see my face. Blaaagh!
This was no time for ‘poor me’ I’ve got a 2-hour drive back to Brisbane if I cry now I may as well check into a hotel. My head was thumping, I need food and paracetamol fast. Luckily just beyond the car park is a Shell Petrol Station, the food will be plastic but it will have to do.
A welcome sight. The young male attendant is covered in tattoos and chewing gum. Good. No conversation required, anyway I doubt we speak the same language. After he grunted, I nodded, we were done. As I walk back to the car I’m thinking. Why is coping so hard? it reminded me of a conversation long ago.
The best advice last’s a long time so today it was ringing loudly in my ears. Elaine said when I was pregnant “Jenn you MUST COPE” It was the best call to action I’ve ever had. At that moment I promised her I will.
Instincts kick in as I switch into autopilot to drive home. No, I don’t remember anything about the trip, it is a blur. Standing at my front door I hear a plane fly’s over, it was a comforting gesture and chance to say a telepathic goodbye.
I turn the key, step inside, close the door ~ to grieve.
It took three day’s before I noticed the colour of the sky. This is exactly how long it takes for the communication to flow after a departure, stopover and arrival.
Viber’s distinct chime sent me dashing for my phone and a text beeped Hello The eagle has landed. It’s 43 degrees. Delhi is chaotic, noisy, full of contrast ~ I love it Mum Photo’s coming ~ Stand by.
The photos were priceless. I’m sure she chose the first one to make me laugh. As a real estate agent myself you will see the funny side too in the photo I’ve posted below. The next few days would be a challenge, how find their way around, where to shop, how things work or don’t, the practical side of life. The heat it draining. Two weeks are to find a house before college starts then a new experience of attending an Indian Uni. Instinctively I want to help.
An old soccer pro would watch from the sideline, knowing this capable girl will learn how to play the game. My wish raising Georgia, was for her to grow into an independent, brave and strong woman like her namesake.
“This is her turn”
Here is my first photo.