I don’t allow myself to cry often. But tonight I am.
Today is the day that I’ve been dreading for the last few years. Two or three years really seem so far away until you have the precious, opportunity to raise children. For those of you that know me, you know that I have two beautiful boys that are 50% Egyptian and 50% American. From the moment we had Zeyad, my soon-to-be five-year-old, I made a promise that I knew would be difficult to keep. I promised that he, and any other kids we may have, would go to Egypt in the summers for a couple months. This has never been an easy decision, but I stand by it. My kids have the wonderful opportunity to benefit from this decision. They will be able to learn Arabic and experience Egyptian culture firsthand. They are Egyptian after all. I realize that so many of my friends/family have concerns about this decision. But it is NOT their decision to make. And honestly, this is the hardest on me more than anyone else. You never decide to be a mom just to give up two months of your kid's lives every year. You want them next to you so that you can protect them. You want to hold them tight and kiss every inch of them and never let them go. I felt that more tonight than I have ever before.
But I’m choosing faith over all of my fear.
I have faith that their Egyptian family and friends know the love I have for them and help me keep them safe. I hope they realize how much my heart hurts right now in order for them to grow relationships with them. I sincerely want my boys to have a strong relationship with their paternal grandparents and family. I want them to see Zeyad’s face when he writes his name in Arabic for the first time. I want them to see Zain’s quirky personality and hear him evil laugh at himself when he does something silly. These things have to be seen firsthand and I want them to have the pleasure in experiencing that.
Below: They love playing this game where they say, "Bad girl!" and I tickle them and then say, "Good girl!" and I stop tickling them. I'll miss this.
During our “goodbye and see you later’s” tonight, my three-year-old gave me a hug and said, “Mommy, but I want you.” Now you can imagine how much strength it took for me to hold myself together and convince him that going on the airplane tomorrow will be so much fun. I reminded him that I’ll always be a phone call away and I always love him even when we’re thousands of miles away from each other. Sometimes being a mom gives you a strength you never knew you had.
Faith is a scary thing that doesn’t really make sense. It’s giving up the power to a force that isn’t tangible. I don’t get to have God come sit me down and tell me that He’ll keep them safe. I just have to believe and trust in Him. That’s what I’m choosing to do.
So I can choose to either be absolutely miserable for the next two months while they’re gone. I can sulk and feel sorry for myself. Or I can cry it out tonight and wake up tomorrow, pull myself together and keep going. While the first option seems completely feasible, I can’t do that to myself or others that have to be around me for the next two months. So tonight, you better believe I’m eating some brownie ice cream and crying my eyes out, but tomorrow I’ll wake up and be the best me that I can be. Now, I at least can look forward to the moment when my kids come down the escalator at the airport in two months and run into my arms.
“I will walk by faith, even when I cannot see.” -Corinthians
“Blink away the tears and walk forward, even if the first step hurts, believe that everything will be okay. And one day it will.”