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Sending My Kid To Another Country Without Me

As I type this my only son is on a plane headed to Colombia.

And I'm not with him.

I'm comforted by the fact that he's traveling with his dad. They're going to be with family celebrating my son's great-great-grandmother's 100th birthday and I agreed to this trip because I didn't want him to miss this chance to meet this extraordinary woman. It's not everyday that five generations of one family get to gather together.

Due to my surrogacy pregnancy I'm staying behind with my daughter. I'm glad that my son and husband get to enjoy this special trip together, but sending my little boy off on a plane to another country is absolutely nerve-wracking for me.

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You see, my son has always been a mama's boy. The bond we have is strong. That's not to diminish the relationship he shares with his dad, it's just different. He's always preferred me over dad. He feels safe with me. Just today he crawled into my bed in the early morning hours and wrapped his arms around me. We stayed there, silently intertwined in the dark, until it was time to get our day started. He often expresses his love for me with strong hugs and kisses. He tells me that he loves being with me and never wants to leave me. There's just something about that mother-son relationship that's indescribable.

This is just the first instance in his lifetime in which I'll have to give up some control. I can't be there to protect him.

Although this isn't the first time we have been apart, it is the first time he gets on a plane without me. And it's the first time we will be separated for such a long period of time. I already miss him and it's weird not being his main caregiver and protector. No one knows him like I do. No one remembers all his current favorite foods or how to effectively calm him from a tantrum.

This is just the first instance in his lifetime in which I'll have to give up some control. I can't be there to protect him. I can't be there to guide him through this strange new environment. I can't be there to comfort him when he's feeling overwhelmed. And as much as that pains me, I'm proud of his bravery. I'm proud of his willingness to embark on this new adventure without me as his safety net. And I'm also looking forward to the ways he and his dad will bond over this trip.

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I can't keep my son all to myself forever. I must share him…with his dad, with his extended family, with the world. And it's going to be okay. Would someone please remind me of that? It's going to be better than okay. It's going to be the experience of a lifetime. I'll be here when he returns ready and willing to hear all about this grand adventure—his first one without mom.

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Photograph by: Kristel Acevedo

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