“New Directions”

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Beautiful September morning … kitty purring obscenely loud next to me … both of us soaking in the morning sunshine on the comfy couch that prevents even me, at 5’9″ from touching the floor with my feet.

Thinking about this weekend. We send child #2 off to college. This time, it’s my daughter. And although I am excited and happy for her, and have no doubt she’s making great choices, well thought out and blessed … my heart crumbles a bit every time I think about leaving her so far from home, alone, beginning the next phase of life that will take her from my home toward her own independent life.

You know, “they” (the proverbial, unnamed mass that I will refer to over and over, for fear of naming names and the repercussions that can create) tell you how hard it is when your kids are little. They give you all kinds of advice … sleeping, bonding, feeding, teaching. But it seems to me they don’t have a lot to say when it comes to preserving your soul as your child grown and fly away.

It’s natural. It’s normal. It’s good. It’s what we train them for and what we expect.

But none of that lessens the pain. Only time takes the edge off. Well, time and a strong drink …

I know I felt this similar loss when my oldest left home. Now beginning his third year at college, well-adjusted, confident, successful and even in love, I couldn’t be more proud of who he is and who he is becoming. I know a similar path waits for my little girl. So it’s not dread or worry or anything that brings tears to my eyes this morning.

It’s things like this:

 or maybe this:                              or even this:.   These are things that tug at my heart as I pack my dear, sweet, thoughtful and life-loving daughter up for her next adventure.

We’re going shopping in a bit. Picking up the last remnants of the “things she’ll need” at college. Me? I’ll be spending my time treasuring every last moment I have with her right now. Because even though it’s “good” and “right” and all those things “they” tell us as our children grow beyond our reach and transition from exclusively our lives to their own … the knowledge alone doesn’t shrink the holes they leave behind.

In the middle of a poem written by Susan A. Katz are these words:

“Memorizing the seasons, I touch things as if my fingers will learn them again; weary of explanations, at midlife I am more comfortable with the truth.”

Truth is, I’m happy and sad, elated and undone, eager for the future and dreadfully bound to the past. All in the same breath.

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5 responses »

  1. When Elizabeth left for college, I thought I would split in 2. It felt so wrong to be leaving my firstborn with a bunch of strangers who did not care for her one way or the other. We both survived but I wasn’t too sure about myself for awhile.

    • Jill … it’s good to know you not only survived … but now have a goofy son-in-law and two beautiful grand babies to show for your strength! And Lynn … yeah, I figured you’d be on the same band wagon … *sigh*. Strength in numbers, friends! Jill proves we’ll all be OK …

  2. Love the pictures! It’s funny…how we’re in two totally different phases yet feeling some of the same emotions. We’ll be welcoming baby #1 this Feb…while you send yours off…out of the nest.

  3. Your world always seems to expand, and with the letting go, more blessings enter. You have the greatest kids, and your family & life will always be amazing. They will forever be close to you.

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