Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's a backpack, baby

Fourteen years ago, when Roger and I were preparing to travel to China to bring our baby daughter home, I looked far and wide for some practical travel diaper bag.  I finally settled on a wonderful black backpack from Eddie Bauer, with zillions of pockets, and it was perfect.  It looked like a backpack, so I didn't have to haul around a cutsie blue and pink bag with ducks and bunnies, and it held all of the requisite baby supplies PLUS all of the gear I'd have had in a purse.  It really was the ideal traveling bag.  (Eddie Bauer doesn't make it any more, and the one above is the closest picture I could find to what I carried.)

In the years since I carried that bag around China, it's doubled as the vacation bag to hold books and magazines and sketchbook on vacations.  It sits with me at the beach at Tahoe every summer.  And the dang things shows virtually no wear.  It's amazing.

I pulled it out of the closet today because Caroline has been packing for her first overnight summer camp, this coming week.  (She's headed off to a week-long camp to learn all about 3-D modeling for computer animation.)  She needed a pack she could carry around to hold her journal and her cell phone and her sketchbook and maybe a beach towel if they're going swimming.  She didn't want to bring a school backpack, and it occurred to me that "the China pack" is the ideal solution.  We've loaded it with her necessities, and it will be ideal.

So everything is perfect, except that Mommy is getting a little teary-eyed at the the thought of my BABY heading off for a week (her first time staying more than a night without mom and dad!), carrying the very bag we hauled around China to hold her diapers and bottles.  She's so grown up.  She'll be there with the other computer graphic obsessed kids, strolling around a university campus and learning new exciting things with other teens and even eating dinner without being burped afterwards.

Roger and I are taking the opportunity to have some kid (oops, I mean TEEN) free fun together with a list of things we've been wanting to do in San Francisco.  But I think the week will be harder on us than on her.  


  1. But, so great that she has a cell phone! And, I presume, computer access. I remember Emily going off to Spain for 3 months back when it cost a fortune to call overseas and email didn't even exist. That really was hard on me. I think you'll all do fine, and boy am I jealous of Caroline's computer animation class!

  2. No matter how old a daughter gets, she will always be your little girl in your heart. Letting go is so important and sometimes, so difficult. Enjoy your "vacation".

  3. Diane,this is just the first of many, many more trips. I know how you feel, whether it's back to college, or an apt in Boston, I still get that lump in my throat when they leave, they are fine, you're right it's harder on you two. But, it's also like being newlyweds again... you can do what you please enjoy!

  4. Thanks for sharing your story. It is hard when a child temporarily leaves the nest to have and adventure of her own. Good for you for providing the opportunity for that to happen! Have a great time in S.F.!