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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Monday Mottoes – #98

Nagoya_Airport_view_from_promenadeIt’s unreal. It’s absolutely unreal. I just dropped our first-born, or make that first-adopted, off at the airport and I’m sobbing. When it came time to say goodbye, my lip started trembling and I could barely whisper my parting words. He did the intelligent thing: smiled, hugged me and walked away toward security.

I love that guy.

He’s going to be gone for two weeks, the longest I’ve ever been apart from him. Even when I need to travel abroad on business, I try to limit it to 7 to 10 days, maximum. But him leaving me? The most has been a 5- or 6-day camp.

Petya is 18, turning 19 in a couple of months. I traveled internationally on my own when I was his Airport-terminalage, so I should understand. Also, it’s not like he’s flying to Afghanistan, or any other hotspots. Plus, he’s been out of the country numerous times with us, as well as traveling domestically a lot.

None of that matters. Waaaaahhhh!

So, to get him up and out to a two-hour distant airport, I jumped awake just about every-hour-on-the-hour until it was finally 4:00 a.m. Naturally, it had been the proverbial “dark and stormy night” with our oldest dog lurching and shaking in my arms from fear over the thunder. It happens every time I need my beauty sleep, if not my night-driving sleep.

277572_fpxWe’re up and out, pretty much on schedule. I’m a few minutes behind because I chose to sit at the kitchen table and kibbitz with him, rather than push myself to get ready and go. On the highway, we enjoy easy sailing and mostly green lights on the few crossroads that we encounter.

At one point, there’s a white, official-looking van on the side of the road.

“Mama!” my son shouts, “They’re wrestling an alligator!”

It’s true. They were pulling him by the tail, which I’m not sure is so smart, but it’s one of those things that you don’t really question at 5:00 in the morning when everything seems a bit surreal anyway….

We stop to get some drinks and use a restroom along the way. I buy him another small notebook to OKI-kioskuse in his travels, as though he’s really going to pen his thoughts, rather than text me, or jot something on his i-Pad. I ask if he remembered his tennis cap and buy him another just in case of extreme sun, rain, or paparazzi.

At the airport, I snap a few pics of him in the parking garage as he becomes smaller and smaller. He is walking toward the light and I only glimpse him in outline. Already, his features are becoming but a mere memory and I am feeling very emotional.

I wonder if it’s the lack of food and sleep.

8005711961_72e73b4766We bypass the kiosks and approach the airline counter to check his bag. Naturally, he wanted to carry two weeks’ worth of stuff in a small backpack, but I advised against it. He will need to present himself at various events requiring various ensembles. Weighing in, I inquire as to the weight of his bag, since I know he generally comes nowhere near the 50 pound limit even when he and his brother share a bag, and it’s cold weather (requiring heavier clothes) and we’re traveling abroad.

Forty-one pounds.

Why a young guy needs three different belts is anyone’s guess….

I inform the airline employee that my son has already received his boarding pass online. She asks about my boarding pass.

“No, he’s traveling on his own,” I reply.

“But there’s someone else flying with him?”

“No,” I shake my head.

She looks at me. Let’s just say, the Bartologimignano family name is not all that common.South_The_Fresh_Exchange1

“Like who?” I ask.

“Joseph…?”

“You’re kidding—someone with the same last name?” I chuckle. “Don’t tell me – are they sitting next to each other?” I ask.

“Almost…” and then I guess she figures she’s said too much, so I ask Petya to be on the lookout for someone who may look like his father… or an out-of-control alligator….

We part ways at security as I try not to melt down. So unlike me. His father texts as I get into the car that he was thinking back to the first day we all met in the orphanage in Russia. That makes me even more teary.

New-York-skyline_0Pulling onto the highway, I start driving south when I should be heading north. South is still in my consciousness from early in the morning. I approach unanticipated cities’ highway signs and realize my mistake. By then I have to loop around another city where the temps approach 100 degrees. I decide to forget having a capuc in a café and head home to the dacha, now more than two hours’ away.

About the same time that I arrive home, he’s landing at JFK, texting Benedetto in another city and me at the dacha, while taking the air train to Jamaica and the subway on the Manhattan-bound E train to the Queens Plaza station. My sweetie-pie is speeding along under NYC and I’m finding it hard to concentrate on anything else.

Benedetto needs to be in a conference in DC and I need to be in a conference in the south, so Petya ad5134a8-a458-4fb8-a04f-dd1ec41bbc56_B640is group-texting us. I carry my phone everywhere just in case he calls and grab a quick spoon of peanut butter because it’s nearing noon and I haven’t had time to eat.

Immediately after popping it in my mouth, I remember: that’s the jar of PB that we use for the dogs….

Before I go on forever (and who knows if I will for the next two weeks? I make no promises…), let’s not forget today’s motto:

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

– Andre Gide

Set sail, friends, set sail. Happy Monday, everyone!

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