A week ago, my oldest turned 18. We celebrated by going to Burke Williams and indulging in facials or massages. I have never really indulged my kids growing up. We don’t go out for pedicures, and they still get clothes at Target and Marshall’s. I am pretty frugal so I can afford to travel with them. But life is changing and my reactions to it are changing.
The entire week has been a blur of finishing up, taking care of, or get it done appointments. There was shopping, packing, braces off, dentist check ups, and eye appointments. The most difficult thing about having to be so busy with the things we have get done is that you don’t slow down enough to be in the moment. This moment, the one where my daughter grows up.
Today we are packing up my husband’s car. For college*.
Now I know that you don’t grow up in a moment, but this is definitely a BIG transitional moment. This weekend has definitive before and after. Before she went to college and after. Through out the busy week, a week where work has squeezed as much into my schedule as possible (seriously, I worked 13 hours yesterday), I had had thoughts in the back of my mind. Occasionally they surface and I turn to whoever is near me and tell them I am taking my kid to college this weekend. At work, most people are excited for me. They see me with a dream for my child that has been realized. They don’t know why I am making a sad face. Or why I would want to cry.
Obviously, I don’t want her to stay home and not go to college. But I am sending off my family, my daughter, an integral part of my life, away to college. And there will be a before. And after. And there are sad feelings as well as the happy. My youngest is dying to move into her sister’s room. School will start and she will experience life without her sister right there every day. And I will miss the frequency of our conversations. Who will be snarky and sarcastic at the dinner table? Who will argue about the philosophy of the day to day with me?
My entire adult life (and part of my adolescent life) I have been a mother. This growing up business is a strange new world. I have no idea what life will be life in the after. Especially the after that comes in 3 years when my youngest goes off to college too. And I debate in my head how I will let them grow up but keep them close at the same time.
Today we are going out to breakfast before we begin our last must finish tasks. This weekend my girls and I will head up to NorCal and get her settled. And I will try not to think too much of the after or the before, but be in the right now.
*brag momma moment: my kid got a scholarship from the tuition exchange program I didn’t think she could get. Proud of her is an understatement.