My oldest daughter leaves for Japan tomorrow. Her husband is in the Navy and has gotten stationed there for three years. I’m a little mixed up on how to feel about this. I’m sad but at the same time I’m excited for her.

I know I will miss her terribly. Even though we have lived states apart, I know that she isn’t too far away. I could make a weekend visit if necessary. Not to mention we talk regularly on the phone. Japan has a time difference of 13 hours, I believe. This is going to cut down our my calls tremendously. Not only will I have to deal with less communication from my daughter, but I will also miss seeing my granddaughter.

These are all things I can learn to deal with, however, the “Mamma” in me is going to worry continuously about them. I will worry about how the crisis in Japan will affect them (though they are on the southern part of the island, far away from the center of all that). I will worry about how my granddaughter is doing, and how my daughter is handling being a new mother. I will worry about anything I can think of, just because she’s my daughter.  After all we are talking about my first-born, bundle of joy here. But she’s not a baby anymore, is she?

It’s hard at times to realize that she’s all grown up now, with a child of her own. I still remember this blonde haired, blue-eyed little girl playing dress up and wearing tiara’s and heels that were way to big for her. She loved Madonna (and later Lady GaGa of course!) as well as classical music. She played the flute wonderfully, and felt completely comfortable on stage performing in plays. She has always been drawn to anything that had a flair or that was different enough to stand out. She was always her own person.

This being said, going to Japan would be a wonderful experience for her. I mean how many people really go to Japan? It’s not like it’s a big tourist spot. I hear people say “Hey I really want to go to Hawaii, or the Bahamas, or Ireland, or Italy.” I don’t think I have ever heard any one say “Hey I really want to go to Japan.” Of course I’m sure there are people who do that, I just haven’t ever met any of them. So my daughter will get to experience the culture and people of Japan for an extended period. She will be away from family (other than her own of course!) for the first time in her life. She will learn so much about herself during this period. All of which is a good thing.

So I can’t help but be excited for her, knowing all the positives that will come from this move. But it’s very hard to ignore the tug of my heartstrings, and the urge to act like her “Mamma” one last time. So instead I will compromise. I will send her cards, emails, text messages and gift packages to let her know she is on my mind. I will ask her to send me pictures of all the places she goes and talk to me of all that she sees. I will encourage her to embrace the opportunities that lie in front of her, and be there for her the best I can while she adjusts to her new surroundings. And most of all, I will wait up in the middle of the night waiting to her voice on the phone saying “Hi Mamma, are you awake?” The answer will always be yes.