There will be many times in upcoming blogs when I will share in depth about my daughter. Howbeit today, I will divulge that for almost 11 years it has only been me and her, her and me. Now in just a few short days my only child, my kid, my Midget moves away from home to begin college life.
I’ve prepared for this her entire existence or so I thought.
Truth is there is no preparing a single mother of an only child for the devastation of letting go – even when her new found liberation is only a two hour drive away. Every day there is something more to learn about moving her to the next phase of adulthood. The learning has been easy – she is diving in head-first showing no fear with her backpack filled and classes secured.
As for me…. well, I have gotten really good at fabricating my barely controlled eagerness as I step into empty nest-hood. Behold the master of smiling ear to ear, squinting so hard the tears cannot squeeze threw. All while nodding in acceptance as so many good folks are squawking advice.
With all the hard lessons I am learning as a mother assisting her daughter’s emancipation, I realized today there is a lot I in fact already know –
I could make her transition from a frolicking, little girl into a strong, mature woman a self-proclaimed, light hearted venture focused on my freedom. Of course my passage will begin by embracing the neighborhood popularity that will surely be bestowed upon me long after the reverberation of her Shrek feet tromping up and down the stairs has quieted.
Only a phlegmatic few will be able to control their envy as the city rubbish team replaces my trash cans neatly on the curb. Their silent thank you for no longer experiencing the retched stomach issues caused by the reeking remnants of her days old sushi or curry chunder from Noodle Blvd.
The annual home owner association dues will inevitably be waived as I easily fill the nonexistent pool with thousands of gallons of tears. Some already shed. So many more yet to fall.
I will make it through because everyone – friends, family, even complete strangers – reassure me with their personalized rendition of ‘you know you’ll be ok!”
I know all this.
BUT I also know…
When all the packing, moving, and unpacking is done, I will reposition my strong face, hug her too tight and beg her to be safe. For the millionth time I will tell her how much I love her and remind her to call, often. Then I will leave. I will leave her dorm room with legs made of freshly poured concrete only to find the car through blurry eyes and memory.
The long ride home will give me time to remember even more things I already know….
The amount of coffee that will be wasted because my iced coffee only kid will not be here to drink the cold remains from my mug.
The weight I will gain because she won’t be at dinner every evening to taste what I have on my plate… at least twice.
The neighborhood kids will refer to me as ‘that strange woman who always peeks creepily out her blinds’ as I anxiously wait, anticipating her next visit.
The earaches I will battle caused by the echo of her footsteps and the haunting silence of her friend’s incessant text messages.
She isn’t moving halfway across the world but you see – my world is moving.
To say I am proud of her seems a belittling statement in an attempt to describe the admiration I have for her. She is a good daughter and a better human being than I could ever be. She is kind and smart and unbelievably beautiful inside and out.
I knew this day would eventually come. I thought I prepared for everything.
Now I know…. there was no way my heart could know.
So proud of you and her. My heart truly aches for you. She will make you proud as she grows as a woman, but will still remain your little girl which will lead to her saying “mom! I’m an adult! “, not having a clue she’s still 12 in your heart. Love you both.
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She is an amazing human being because of all you gave her – don’t belittle you because you ARE an amazing human being
You are a wonderful mother and should be proud of a job well done. Now you go from the mother/daughter relationship to BEST friends. I will be praying for both of you.
Leaking the big, ugly tears right now. She will thrive. You will thrive. Give yourself grace when the sad times come. And look forward to the journey that YOU are beginning.