Thursday, January 5, 2012

Teary, but happy!

My latest offering for my online blog at The Bargain Hunter left me a little teary.  I'm a happy mom, though, my kids are the best.  Read away and let me know what you think and maybe tell me some of your own stories?  

It's her now.

What do you do when all the tinsel is packed away, the last Christmas ball is found under the couch, and the sparkly white lights on the porch shine their last hurrah?

What do you do when it’s time for your child to fly away into the vast gray skies back to their life in a faraway college town?   

You hitch up your boots, hug them hard, and say goodbye.

Christmas is long gone, safely ensconced in the annals of time.  New Years has come with all its glitzy once-in-a-lifetime craziness.  We ushered it in and watched it leave, as we slept the day away and filled ourselves with pork and kraut.  As the days grew closer to that inevitable trip to the airport, each hour and second that passed were denied in the only way we know how to do – ignore them.  

Up until that last second when you know it’s time they start packing.  Start putting everything in that little green suitcase that was deemed worthy of the trip, and find a place for the new treasures that were selected and offered as gifts.  

This life, this trail of jet fuel that snakes its way ever southward, connecting us through not only the receiving, but the taking away - this is what has become our reality.  We embrace it for the goodness that it has brought, yet want to shake it off for how far apart it makes us.  

You left a little girl, searching for that life that disconnected you from us.  Anything to get away from this small town that grew you, yet stifled you.  This is not a negative thing.  Every child needs to break the umbilical cord that stretches, unseen and unwanted, from parent to child.  That cutting is what makes them grow.  Still attached, it makes them stay children.  Oddly bound, unable to shoot in the direction they must go.

The rending of my heart, though, never quite heals. 

Technology has afforded me the luxury of being in touch with you at all times.  

Facebook, text, Skype, and even Words with Friends – all let me enter your world without invading it.  You call me as you’re biking to work or school, while babysitting, or before a big test.  I wait for these connections, and without fail, every day they occur.   

I don’t look at it as “she needs her mama” – I look at it that she’s deemed me worthy or her day.  Her life.  The information she shares with me is proffered – like an invitation to the big dance.  I take this and hold it close to my heart.  I can no longer tell her what she can and cannot do.  I can offer her my wisdom and my thoughts – but she will, in the end, decide what to do with them.  

Her father’s heart has had a harder time letting go.  He still wants to tuck her under his wing with his words the only ones she should hear – but too many others have now entered it.  A dad never really wants to let his little girl go.  He does, though, and talks of independence and clarity come about.  Talks of what direction she should go, what she can do to surge ahead, what she can do to succeed.  These are what satisfy him, as he once again sends her back.  A sometimes not so gentle pushing, back and forth, for two minds that are so alike.  She will succeed because he is behind her, and he is also in those brain cells that fire away with the need to forge ahead and make it.  She will make it because for 21 years, he has pushed her to make it.  That sharp-edged hardness comes out when she needs it.  

Today, though, I head to work knowing that when my day is done, it’s time to head to that place where huge engines fire.  Where my grown up daughter will buckle herself in, and head back to the place in the sun where she still has a little time to learn.  Another year and a half of books and knowledge.  Another period of time to grow. 

I don’t know when I will see her again.  The Christmas parting is the hardest.  She won’t come home for Easter break, or even for spring break.  The distance is too vast to just hop on a plane every other month.  I will steadfastly hug her goodbye, and wipe her tears away – that just recently started appearing when she leaves.  I will wait for the text that tells me she’s on the plane, that tells me she’s made it to her connection, that tells me she’s made it home, and that finally tells me she’s made it to her apartment.  

Only then will I shed a tear.  And I will just as quickly wipe it away, for her life is good.  Full of good things yet to discover, places to go, places to explore.  I want it all for her, and for that, I would never wish her here.  This world is hers.  It’s her now.