Dear reader, last week Izzy travelled to Kansas City to participate in a national competition of middle school orchestras. She began a countdown to the trip several weeks ago. She began packing two days in advance, configuring and reconfiguring the items in her suitcase. And every time she mentioned the adventure, her face wreathed in smiles and she levitated off the ground in bursts like a fledgling bumblebee.
Indeed, her enthusiasm was so contagious it didn't even cross my mind to prepare her for the possibility of homesickness.
So on the second night, when I received a flurry of texts from my little traveller saying how much she loved and missed me, how much she wished she could be at home, and how she was locked in the hotel bathroom crying, I felt adrift with helplessness. I called her and we talked about ways to deal with the situation, but she still had several days of adventure ahead of her and I knew she would struggle with these feelings again before it was all over.
And then I had a brilliant idea! I emailed her an audio file of a poem I recite to the girls each night before they go to sleep. It is the very poem my mum used to tell me at bedtime when I was a little girl--a happy, drowsy memory I cherish to this day.
I don't know if my dramatic delivery was quite the cure I was hoping for, but it seemed to help. We still exchanged a rash of phone calls and an ambush of texts. She missed us all sooooo much.
And of all things, her orchestra took second place! Winning a trophy that was taller than Izzy herself! But even sweeter to my ears--she said her homemade luggage tags were the coolest thing ever and each time she looked at them, she thought of how much I loved her.