The Last Post Before She Goes

Today has been a day of lasts.  It is A~’s last day at home.  We had our last family dinner with her (I barely sat down).  She babysat the youngers for the last time while I ran errands.  And now, as I am throwing in the towel for the night and figuring we’ll get out the door in the morning whenever we manage to get out the door, as I am having one last cry in my bed before we take her away, I hear music slightly blaring from the basement as my three daughters have one last sisters’ “party” together.  That should make me happy.  I wish I had room in my heart to feel all of the positive emotions I should be feeling right now.

They are spending time together and enjoying it.
A~ is going to the university she has always wanted to attend, it is a competitive school, and she has a full-tuition academic scholarship.
She is getting out of the small town she loathes.
She will finally be among people like her.

What mother wouldn’t be thrilled over all of that?  I am thrilled for her, really I am.  But I am so steeped in grief that I can’t even feel it.  I know I’m being dramatic.  She’s alive, she’s healthy, she’s moving on as she should.  Yet my heart is exploding with the loss.

We leave tomorrow, but we still have a week and a day with her before we leave her.  I try to console myself with that, but if I’ve learned anything in the past seven days, it’s that a week goes by way too quickly.

My older friends who have been through this already tell me that, contrary to what one might think, it doesn’t get easier with each child.  Five more to go after this one.  I can’t even imagine going through this five more times.

There I am, being all dramatic again with my first world, successful kid problems.  I can’t help it.  It hurts.  I’m a mom.

3 thoughts on “The Last Post Before She Goes

  1. It’s so weird when heart and head collide isn’t it? I spend as much time feeling my heart break, sobbing, feeling panicky like I need to stop/fix this kid leaving business, as I do thinking (but not quite feeling) that I’m being insane and holy first world problems batman! I don’t know about you but i just want it done. Once we have a new normal and the deed is done I think we can move through acceptance and start enjoying the pride and excitement a little. But as long as We are enmeshed in a dreaded countdown, with all the accompanying pressure to do All The Things and make every last moment special because who knows when they will do it/see it/eat it again, we can’t possibly find the joy and excitement. So I hope for us both that the joy and excitement and pride will come after the drop off. Maybe not that day but surely the days following when we hear their voices and realize they will be not just fine but great and so will we. There. That’s my pep talk. More for my sake than yours. Safe travels!

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  2. I am right there with ya. While I still have a year to go before I have to go through this, I am already dreading it and counting my lasts. Last night was our last, night before school trip for ice cream… today was our last first day of school… soon it will be time for our last football homecoming. Sigh. I may not be able to take a year of this!

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  3. You know I know how you are feeling – and I did it when my daughter was 15. That sucked, a lot. And then after she graduated she up and went to SE Asia for 9 months. Which was also hard. But right now, she is living at home because she didn’t get into grad school last year so she has an extra “gap” year (assuming she gets accepted this time around) and I’m enjoying what feels like a gift of unexpected grace. All that to say, yes, it is REALLY hard to let them go – but they do come back. And sometimes they even stay for a while. (and just think of all the fun you and she will have comparing notes about school! I love the kind of friendship I can have with my adult daughter). Cry, don’t feel bad about crying, but remind yourself that there will be many more hellos after this one good-bye.

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