I’m Touched

Posted on August 14, 2009. Filed under: Parenting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Oh, it has been a whirlwind of weeks, one with many ups and a few downs.

I’ve been working on marketing my book, but as in life, the best of all plans sometimes gets sidelined. And the sending off of our second daughter to college and getting another ready for marriage were the reasons for it.

On Monday, we addressed, stuffed, and mailed 159 wedding invitations. Tuesday, I picked 6 lbs. of green beans. Wednesday, we took Heather off to college.

If you’ve never sent a child off to college, I can tell you it’s a major endeavor. Buying new bedding, towels, robes, shower kaddies, and enough water bottles and snacks to feed our family of six for two weeks takes a lot out of you. Running around town, picking up immunization records, signing into the federal loan site 26 times to verify or print out the latest urgent, priority email, and still trying to work have left me zapped. Zipped and zapped, in fact.

There was no time for emotion, just a to-do list that grew, instead of getting smaller. Then, after packing everything, off we went, turning the page in our book as yet another child moved on into the big, wide world that didn’t include us. After standing in line, pushing, pulling, dragging, and kicking (yes) her belongings foot by foot for a good mile, we finally got to the elevators, which naturally don’t go to every floor – just every 3rd floor of the dorm. So, we hauled it all off the moving box and into the hall, where we took turns carrying everything up the stairs to the next floor, where her new room waited.

Hot, tired, and irritated, those were my emotions. Cool down time meant lunch, a chance to relax and refuel. Then, came the moment, saying goodbye. Along with the moment came the tears – mine, not hers. They started at around 3 PM and to tell the truth haven’t quite ended.

And she’ll be back today…for her big sister’s wedding shower tonight – I did say it’s been a busy week, right?

But it won’t be the same. Never. Again. We’ve turned the page, and she’ll never be here EVERY morning, having a cup of coffee with me, telling me what she needs me to do, or telling me what she wants to do. It’s changed. It’s scheduled now, and it’s intermittent. She’ll change, too. I know I already have.

The melancholy that struck me is backed up by the double whammy of a family bridal shower tonight for our oldest. Today, she does a trial hairstyle for her wedding day, gets fitted for her dress, orders her veil, and then off tonight we go to her shower.

And I have to come to grips with the fact that they’re leaving. Maybe they’re already gone, I’m not sure. But there’s a finality that was never there before that comes to me now, triggering stronger emotions than I thought. It is the price I pay for having their love and laughter for 18 plus years.

It’s stirred memories of their younger days – running in and out of the house, needing me by their sides, having to be closely watched at all times as they learned new things.  For some reason, one memory ran through my mind. Meridith was two, maybe three, years old. She was outside with her dad, and I was in the house. Dad went around to the back yard for a minute, and Meridith didn’t follow. She walked across the neighbor’s yard, and he came to the door to let me know.

“Patti, your little girl, Big Time, I think you call her, just walked across my yard, you better catch her.”  By the time I got out there, her dad already had caught up with her, so she was okay – and yes, we called her Big Time, an affectionate name because everything she did or felt was at maximum levels.

It occurred to me when I remembered this, but not when it happened, that it’s strange – unfortunate, really – that the people we trust with our children are afraid to go near them. He could have scooped her up and brought her to the door, but society tells us it’s wrong to touch another person’s child. Ironic though, isn’t it, that the people we don’t trust are the ones who aren’t afraid to go near our children.

So, now that the two oldest are gone or leaving, and yes, I’m crying again, I can only hope that people I trust aren’t afraid to touch them, and the people I don’t trust don’t get close enough to try.

I’m here, girls, always here. Ready to touch you whenever you need me.

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2 Responses to “I’m Touched”

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I appreciate your look into my future with your blog post. My girls are 9, 6, and 3, and I have a 1 yr old son too. I have a hard time imagining life where they dont need me so constantly, but you are in that spot right now, where they are leaving to move onto new things. Thank you for reminding me to cherish the moments I find today!

You’re welcome. I have two daughters left here at home, but it feels like there is a gaping hole, like we’re not whole and waiting for someone to come home. I’m glad that they move on one at a time, otherwise, I don’t think I could handle it. Our third daughter told me yesterday, “Mom, I don’t have a life.” I said, “Good. Stay here with me and share mine, will you, please?”


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