I’m finishing up a week-long break from the crazy and needed to write about the upcoming revolution in my life:
In 41 days, my little girl is going away to college, and I just can’t even.
Yes, I know it’s time and I know it’s all part of the growing up and adulting process, but inside I am rebelling. I look at her and I see the little girl who used to sit at my feet, telling and acting out endless make believe stories with action figures and Barbies. I see the girl who read Harry Potter books back to back and the figure skater who threw herself into jumping and spinning.
When I try to imagine life after she moves away, a switch turns off in my head, and I can’t. This is an unfamiliar phenomenon for me because usually I have an overactive imagination, conjuring up ALL THE THINGS that might possibly transpire. But when I contemplate August 18, my mind goes blank.
As in, I can’t think about this. Genuinely, truly, cannot hold the thought into my head. I know it WILL happen. But I can’t visualize it. Don’t want to visualize it. Don’t want to acknowledge it.
But it’s there.
I remember standing in the hospital bathroom in the ugly hospital gown, looking at my laboring self in the mirror. No matter what I wanted, this baby was coming out. It was time. There was no going back, no return. I took a deep breath, steadied my shoulders, and faced the coming revolution in my life.
I feel the same sort of sea change coming. It’s a tsunami wave, and there is nothing to do except wake up each morning and face it. I’m not the same person that I was when my daughter was born. And really, that is a good thing. Being her mother has softened me in some ways and made some of my edges sharper. I’d like to think it has made me a better person. And I hope that watching her take flight will change me in positive ways as well.
But just as I stood in the hospital room, feeling unprepared and unequipped for the journey ahead, I feel the same way now, only worse. I don’t know how to be me apart from the mother. But I’ll learn, right?
There’s nothing else for it except to face it. But I don’t have to think about it just yet. Instead I will embrace the 41 days I have left with this lovely and lively young woman I’ve been privileged to raise!