This is not to brag, because, trust me, my downfall is coming.
This is not to speak for other people, but, trust me, those who know me would say I have N O F E A R.
Why, I’ve gone hang gliding, skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, rappelling, spelunking, soaring, sailing, and trekking in some fearsome places, but I may have finally met my match with flying solo as a mom.
Every new mom experiences fear.
The first venture out in the car alone with the baby is scary, no matter how much you love driving or how many nieces and nephews you have whose diapers you’ve changed—until you do it. When it’s over, you laugh at yourself. You laugh again when you’re scared to do it a second time. Then you laugh the third time, because you notice the gear’s getting lighter in your arms, the clips and snaps seem to close themselves, it’s smooth sailing, iTunes wailing (Beatles Songs for Kids), Honda, take me away!
I came to enjoy rides with baby so much, I made rounds to friends’ houses where they were holed up with newborns, too scared to drive. I said to one friend, “It’s just a matter of how badly you want to get out.” The moms I’m referring to have since, slowly, built up the tolerance for backseat dramatics and increased the lengths of their journeys out… And all are welcome to visit me!
Most of my travels were solo travel until I met my husband. I climbed Tungurahua solo. Ten days touring Guatemala solo. Nine days in Barcelona solo. Ten days learning to kite surf in Dominican Republic solo. Two weeks in Mexico alone. Of course I made friends along the way. I plunked myself down in Nicaragua in ’98 and stayed a year, the only gringa in Matagalpa. No hot water for 8 months of that year.
Why am I struck with bolts of fear contemplating flying solo as a mom for one week? And then another? And then another?
The first time I took a flight alone with baby, I was a complete wreck the morning of. Now I’ve flown twice alone with her and am contemplating a round-trip to grandparents’ retirement village during one of my husband’s assignments.
So, will flying solo as a mom get easier?
Today was tough. The niña didn’t nap. Not in the morning, not in the evening, and I’m bleary-eyed at 7:15, hoping she goes down easy for the night…