Tuesday, August 4, 2015


I'm beginning a huge new transition in my life.  Change is never comfortable or easy, and as my kids will tell you, change is awful for me.  If I initiate it, it's a little easier.  When it's happening as the natural course of life, I can kinda prepare for it, but it's still hard.  Let's not even talk about change that is foisted on me.

My youngest fledgling is getting ready to fly out into the world on her own.  We'll be relatively close by, within a couple of hours depending on the family member you're looking at, and in this technological age, phone calls and texts and even Skype shared viewing of our favorite television programs together will be possible.  But she'll be moving from our secluded country home into the big city on her own.

I thought this would be easier.  I think both of us thought it would be easier.  She is ready to go, she is eager and excited about living in the city.  She loves it, she eats it up, she wants to go back all the time.  She is ready to begin learning and working toward her BFA.  I think I'm ready to watch what I want on TV, run the vacuum and washing machine and play the piano at my whim.

But we're both scared and nervous and sad at the same time as we're looking at the positives of this transition.  I think we both try to avoid talking about it, looking at it, so it comes out in random blips, such as a short response to a routine question, feelings getting hurt rather quickly, hugging more, talking more, wanting to spend time together more, and then snappy remarks at small things.  It's the dance of separation between parent and child, and it's normal and it's to be expected and it's short-lived and it's painful.

The smallest thing causes me to burst into tears.  I am easily distracted and feel like I'm going to jump out of my skin at times.  I have had recurring panic attacks the last couple of weeks.  Thankfully, I do know how to breathe through them and out but it's tough and unexpected.  And frustrating.  And frightening.

I started a mental countdown in my head last night, one that I hid from my daughter.  But she revealed this evening that she has started her own countdown.  Mine was, "Only two more Tuesdays after tonight."  Hers was, "Only three more weeks."  Both ended with, "Before I start missing you.  Before I am apart from you.  Before you will not be here next to me whenever I need you."

I realized that I've been a parent for nearly 32 years.  That's well over half my life having kids in the house at all times.  And this kidlet and I have been a dynamic duo for the majority of her time on this planet, her sisters having moved out when she was about 5 and 8.  It's been just the two of us.  Thankfully for me, her sisters moved out nearby.  She's going a greater distance.  Thank god it's not New York City.

So what are we going to do in three weeks?  Yegads.  It's going to be thrilling for her and scary too.  I am thankful that she found a school that has such a great support network in place for her.  Things that a parent really needs - 24 hour security, rules that are safe and sane, free shuttle service to classes, a meal plan so I know the kid won't go hungry and will have good food available to her.  She'll have a roommate and I hope that they get along.  I think they will, and it's a good thing that they're starting together - the two in the room and all of them in the building newbies and learning their way around at the same time.

I don't know what I'm going to do.  I figure most things will stay the same, though there will be more phone calls and more time on my own.  A new chapter for both of us.  Her setting her own alarm, and me missing waking her up, no matter how grumpy she is in the morning.

So if you pray or light candles or hold good thoughts, please do that for me and this baby.  We can use all the love and support and help you can offer.  Thanks. xoxo