Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It Keeps Dawning on Me...

I am a cotton-headed ninnymuggins.

Earlier today, Daughter #1 called me to ask about the events for the evening. As we finished our conversation, she started speaking in a goofy voice, which I then copied… and so on. Then we laughed and hung up.

Ohmygod. Starting next fall, I’m not going to see her every day. She’ll only be about 12 miles away, within the same city even… but not at home. Every so often, this fact hits me smack in the face, a little harder with each successive realization. Today, it happened while I was at work, and I struggled to keep from bursting into tears, aka full-blown mommy breakdown.

When she started the college application process, I held great hope that she would make a good choice. I had absolutely no intention of influencing her decision about where she wanted to go to school; I just prayed that it wouldn’t be too far. Or too expensive. But we could at least deal with that if it happened.

She only applied to one school.

What?? My independent child? I thought she was just being a little lazy. I didn’t know what was behind this apparent lack of action. I was disappointed with her and even fought with her a little bit, asking why she didn’t apply anywhere else, what was she thinking, etc. etc. After many days of bickering about it, she finally yelled back that she wasn’t ready to be too far away from home yet. And I realized, all my aspirations for her were just that. Mine. If she isn’t ready to be far away from us yet, then she’s not ready. It’s her timeline, not mine. I got it. And I was finally okay with her choice.

It’s a good choice. It’s a good school that just happens to be in the same city.

And right now? Today? I’m glad she chose that one, because I know I’M not ready to let her go yet. She’s a little younger than most of her school mates, being a summer birthday girl. If I really think about it, most of her friends’ parents will have had at least 6-8 months more time with their kids prior to college. But that would be nitpicking and silly. And it wouldn’t really make a difference, would it?

In the midst of planning graduation parties, finding caterers, putting together an iMovie to show during open house, etc… I’ve been able to keep myself busy and “stressed out” enough to ignore that other thing.

That other thing.

I’m going to miss her. Terribly. The child who shares my penchant for reading. The one who inherited my “lovely” morning persona. My brilliantly witty first-born.

I find myself hugging her more now than I usually do. And she’s letting me. :-)

Time to stop thinking about this for now. There’s a lot to do today, so I should get back to that. Besides, I can’t keep crying like this, or people are going to think I’m a blubbering idiot.

Or a cotton-headed ninnymuggins.


wire said...

Cotton-headed ninnymuggins? How about a polyester-footed sillybugger? Or a kapok-coated chalkrubbing?

stefanie said...

That's sweet. Also, I can't believe you have a kid graduating from high school already. Aren't you only a few years older than I am? (Maybe I'm wrong on that.) Anyway, I think what you're feeling is a sign that you have a good relationship with your daughter, and that's impressive, I think.

lizgwiz said...

Awww...that's really sweet. And I love "cotton-headed ninnymuggins." Sounds like it should be a character in a children's book.

-R- said...

Did she choose the state school near you or one of the private ones?

This post is really sweet. I

don't call me MA'AM said...

wire: the kapok one sounds about right.

stefanie: Yes, I do... I was 20 when she was born. I don't recommend that to anyone. ;-) BUT, when I'm 44, all our kids will be in their 20s. I guess that's okay, as long as none of them make me a grandma too soon. We've had LOTS of discussions about that!-- also, I do think we have a good relationship, thanks! She's a good kid.

lizgwiz: that term is actually from the Will Ferrell movie, Elf. :-)

-r-: she chose the state school for undergrad. She wants to go to your alma mater in town for grad school, but she's also considering Northwestern. Go figure. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

As you know, I understand all too well. Perfectly. And as you know, mine chose to be nearly 2000 miles away. He's a March baby, but believe me, it doesn't add to the maturity level. When I think about it too much, I get really scared and have to make myself stop thinking about it. What if he needs me? What if he forgets to take his allergy medicine, or doesn't ever do his laundry, or never wakes up for class on time? What if he does something really stupid? What if he needs a hug, gets depressed, needs his mama?

Waaaaaaa! (What time is the weekly pity party? Cause I'm so there!)

Stinkypaw said...

You are touching... hug her as much as she'll let you.

Red said...

Awww. Well, it's not supposed to be easy. Don't be too hard on yourself. :)