For more than twenty years of my life I have woken up every morning to this.(the new one. I am the big one).
Well, ok, maybe after a while it looked like this.and very often this
and all too often this
and most recently this.
Now I wake up to this.
That's empty space, if you were wondering. Empty space, no toast crumbs on the counter and no fighting for the last cup of coffee. No Girl to share the day with.
Last Friday we packed my car with Girl and gadgetry, and drove 1/3 of the way across the country and deposited her in a dorm on a campus we'd never even seen with our own eyes.This was a sudden decision, and one I have been in denial about since before it was made. My mother's TIA's (mini-strokes) and subsequent needs were an exceptional distraction. Halfway to Indiana it dawned on me that we were taking her there...and not actually bringing her back with us.
Different people have babies for different reasons. Some are welcome accidents, some are mistakes we learn to love. Some we never learn to love, which is always sad, but it happens. Some are yearned for, wanted and desperately desired. Some are planned down to the most minute detail - plans that often go awry which some of us find amusing. Girl was all of those to different people and for different reasons. For me she was desperately desired, planned down to the last detail, but somehow never went awry. Every minute of her life has been a gift, and a welcome one for me. From the first minute she cried in my arms to this very moment everything about her very existence has been a gift, a joy and a blessing. I've watched her grow from amazingly beautiful infant with huge brown eyes to engaging toddler with a smile as big as the world that never, ever quit. Well. Sometimes it quit and then things maybe were a tad ugly for a while. She's a bit like her mother. Cross her and there is great wrath. I crossed her more than once. It was part of the job. We caught tadpoles to grow into frogs, played in the mud, roasted marshmallows over an open fire in the backyard and pretended it wasn't the back yard. We had our own Monarch butterfly farming project, ant farms, and a huge failure when the silk cocoons she was boiling overcooked. My house stunk like exploded silk worm larva for weeks. We learned to spin almost at the same time. We dissected things, studied the intricacies of various plants and animals. We explored, grew, learned together. As time went on she needed me less and less, and I was glad. Not for me, but for her. I didn't have babies to keep forever. I had babies to rear into grown people with jobs and lives and babies of their own someday. I knew there would be a day when she'd pack up and head off into the world, and I knew I'd know when it was time for that to happen. Time came, and off she went.
And I am glad and mostly ready, although sometimes I cry a little but it's a happy cry. Because I want to sit here and watch from four states away as she spreads her wings and flies, as far and as free as she can.
Way to Grow, Girl. See you in December. Love, Mom.