I think this is the blog where I’m supposed to write about how amazing Maddie is doing at college and how she’s thriving and loves her major and her classes and is more independent than I ever expected and more capable than I ever thought and that I’m thrilled about it all. And I am. All of those things. And more. Proud doesn’t begin to describe how I feel. She’s so smart and I saw her homework and wanted to cry. I couldn’t tell the chemistry from the calculus. There are many who talk so poorly about her generation and how they are “soft” and cant handle life like “we” did. And eat tide pods. This usually comes from old football players I went to highschool with who I saw drunk surfing in the back of a moving truck so Im gonna just ignore it. They are idiots. Seriously. What I saw on a college campus made what my generation live through look like a cake walk. It’s not the YOUNGER generation I’m worried about. At all.
Nope- this blog is about me . And how unprepared I was. I have NEVER been a helicopter Mom. Ive let my kids learn things the hard way. Never been great at being in their business- and fully aware that things could go south placing as much trust in them as I have. I got lucky. And blessed. And I know this. So I THOUGHT I was this type that couldn’t WAIT for mine to go off to college or leave home and I’d have my “life” back. Ive never been a proponent of living vicariously through your kid or making your kid the center of your life. Its not healthy, in my opinion. I have a life. I have friends and work and hiking and my own things. My job as a parent was and IS to raise productive, kind humans who don’t rely on me for everything. So this whole situation right now is a bit foreign.
I am sad. I have cried almost every day since my daughter left for college and I cant get a grasp on why. This is all I ever wanted for her. Its strange to be simultaneously excited and happy for her and sad for me. I went to visit her yesterday at college, just for the day. I cried when I drove away. For a brief moment I felt like I did when my Dad died and it SHOCKED me to my core. No one died. No one died. There hasn’t been a tragic death. My kid went to college. That’s all. Barely 3 hours away. So what the fuck is this MOURNING? And that’s EXACTLY what it is. I feel like Im mourning. And I see the other women who’s kids have just left handling it so well. So much differently than I am. I feel crazy and odd and like something is wrong with me.
And Im trying, today, to accept that THIS is where I am and I need to honor the MOURNING. I was her Mommy, hands on, next to her, for 19 years. She was here every day. Every night. Every birthday. Every holiday. And this is fucking weird. Its weird. And no one told me it would be weird. Or this sad. Or lonely. Or that it would feel like there’s a hole in my home. And I realize, logically, not everyone feels this way-so it makes me feel even weirder.
I know it will get better. You don’t have to tell me this. I know no one died. I know she will be home for visits. I know she’s happy and growing and capable and starting her amazing life. And Im so crazy grateful she is where she is. I wouldn’t change a THING, in fact. Not one thing. It doesn’t mean Im not mourning. And maybe its ridiculous. Maybe it is. Maybe Im ridiculous. But Im as surprised by these feelings as anyone. I never expected this sadness. Never. And I will navigate it the best way I know how. And Ill cry. I miss her face. I miss football. Watching her cheer. Having the noise of teenage girls in the house. Living with her for 19 years was my privilege. I GET to be her Mom. Just in a different way now. And Im sure that displaying my crazy here for all to see will make her thrilled. But this blog has always been about the REAL. And it ain’t always pretty. I hated that anyone ever compared ANYTHING to the sadness of death after my Dad was killed. But its where I am now. And I cannot ignore that.
It will pass. It will get less intense. It will get better. But this transition is hard. And Im a little irritated with myself that I didn’t realize HOW hard it would be. Honor it. Sit in it. Cry through it. Being a Mom was something I decided to do a LONG time ago. Its been the best decision I ever made. The hardest, saddest, most beautiful, painful, glorious, magical, rewarding thing Ive ever done. I did a good job. She’s this PERSON I like. Im sad she doesn’t live with me anymore. When I brought her home from the hospital after she was born- I left her in the car seat for an hour because I felt ill equipped and had no clue what to do with a human life. Maybe on some level I knew as soon as I took her out the time would start ticking quickly. And it did. And it does. And life…she goes on.