When my daughter was four, I made her a promise. She was distraught over her dad leaving for a business trip and I told her she could sleep with me anytime he was away.
From. Then. On.
And. She. Did.
She has slept beside me, over the past nine and half years many, many times. More times than I can count. She kicks, punches, head butts and talks. She grinds her teeth reminding me the stresses she’s under and in short, freaks me right out.
But I’m sure you know what I’m going to say. I love having her with me. I love her with ever fiber of my being and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.
Because one day, she won’t be beside me.
Before I know it, my girl, the last baby of my brood will be off and out on her own, learning, living and leaving. Breaking free from the nest I have so carefully constructed around her.
I’ve been trying to write this post for a week now but it’s been difficult. Sure, I’ve been busy. In fact, I’ve barely had a moment’s peace. It’s been one job after another⎯never short of something to keep me busy. Which is weird, because I’m down one kid. You’d think I’d have at least a third more time.
Clearly, that’s not how it works.
My boy sailed off to University last week, and I don’t know how to feel. I know what I’m supposed to feel, but how do I really feel? Sad? Forlorn? Deserted? Happy? Proud? Excited? Broke.
Please note⎯that last one isn’t a question.
Truth be told, any mere mortal who reaches this stage in life will undoubtedly feel a cocktail of these emotions but hopefully, will be graced with one overwhelming standout⎯elation. We did it! We raised a child that not only meets the requirements of an excellent school, but one that also wants to go.
Rah, rah us!
Yes, it’s inevitable. Our kids will leave us. They may be eighteen. They may be older. They may be younger. Or heaven forbid, we might have to throw them out by the collar, but eventually they will leave.
In the meantime, I wonder if Ava and I can squeeze into that twin extra long…