Tomorrow is the day I leave my heart four hours away. Only I could understand the emptiness that closet must have felt as we loaded her clothes into the car. My whole world packed into two trunks ready to drive her off to start a new life someplace else. It’s bitter sweet I guess. There is a part of me excited for the change about to come into her life but the mom in me, the part that kept her safe and protected for 18 years is breaking apart at the seams. My life as I have known it is disappearing in front of my eyes and I can almost hear my heart tearing apart.
Love them and let them go.
It sounds easy in theory but when you watch a room that was so full of her empty out, your heart can’t help but feel that emptiness too. Tomorrow I will leave her behind. Tomorrow I quietly wink at God and remind him she is in His hands now. I will pray that I did enough and loved her enough and that she is ready to step behind the wheel. Her life is her own now. Will she make the right choices? Will she be kind and compassionate? Will she be happy? Grateful? I can only hope when I feel sad that I will remember her like I see her today…excited, full of life, her face sprouting a gigantic smile as she holds her new Bluetooth water bottle in her hand and dances around. She is my baby going off to college, that same little girl with light and adventure bursting from her eyes, ready to explore the next thing in her path. This time though I have to have the strength and courage to let her do it alone. She will always know where to find me and I will sit quietly waiting for her to return.
I knew this day would come but I didn’t realize it would get here so fast. I remember how stressed I used to feel when I tried to juggle two small children at the grocery store or rush from one gate to the other with toys, bags, snacks, a stroller and two kids who weren’t going to walk on their own. I remember waiting for my husband to get home truly believing I needed a break. I thought those days would never end of constant messes, endless feedings, clutter, crayons, tantrums, whining. They did actually come to an end though and I can’t even remember exactly when. As a parent, you move from one phase into an entirely new one with a different set of challenges along the way.
I’ve put this week out of my mind the entire summer. I guess I tucked it back into a place so deep I could rest in denial for a few short weeks. Now it is here, the week I have been dreading. Thursday I will say goodbye to them, my babies, as they leave for school together for the first time in seven years. For one child, this is the last year of her high school adventure. The other child’s adventure is just beginning as he starts this year off as a high school freshmen. How in the world do I have two high schoolers already? Where did the time go and how can I make it slow down? I’m not ready to let them go yet. Just a few more months, a few more days, a few more hours to keep them close. It’s bitter sweet for me of course as I watch them grow into young adults who I’m sure will go out and contribute to this great big world but in my heart they are still my little ones who have made my world so very big. Without them I will feel small because they are a huge part of who I am. I pray the next three days creep by so I have them to myself a little bit longer before day by day they inch away. Parenting has been my biggest blessing and I cherish every single day.