she & her mama, one of my dearest friends,
packed up yesterday, heading to Texas Christian University.
if you’ve read my blog over the last few years
you’ve heard me share about abby.
i truly love this child as if she were my own.
it’s truly a strange emotion when happiness and sadness are all mixed up together.
when you are genuinely happy for another person,
yet the thing you’re so happy about for them
is actually something so tender, dare i say sad, for you.
at the risk of sounding ridiculously over dramatic
this time last year, when we took savannah to college…
that was without a doubt the second hardest season of my life.
i used to pride myself ( ha!) in the fact that i was not a sappy teary emotional person.
those days are gone.
so that particular day,
i had pep talked myself into not crying in front of her.
we had done all we (the parents) needed to do in her dorm room
& it was time for us to leave.
i stepped out around the corner as the emotions began to overwhelm me.
i was not going to do that.
other parents were walking by
other , non-emotional parents & i was thinking,
“what the heck? why aren’t you a wreck too?
why are you looking at me like, oh, first timer?”
turns out, i couldn’t suck it up.
i walked around the corner to smk’s room,
all red splotchy faced and all
& mumbled “bye sweetie”.
it was ridiculous.
i cried off & on for weeks.
weeks i tell you.
actually i cry anytime i really think about it, a year later.
now let me explain.
i know she’s happy & in a great place & technically not far away
i know this is just part of life.
my mind knows all of that.
but entering that phase, that phase that as parents we truly begin preparing for
from the day they were born
was finally here.
the leaving phase.
& that part, my heart still has trouble with
probably always will.
as mamas we carry our babies who are completely dependent upon us for 40 weeks.
once we give birth & the cord is cut
we, in small tiny, yet monumental ways
prepare them for their independence, for their independence from us.
we wean them from breast to bottle
we potty train them & cheer when they can do it all by themselves.
we teach them to walk & do it all by themselves
we cheer as they cross each developmental milestone
we tell them they’ll be just fine at school. all day. by themselves.
we continue to prepare them & encourage them in all they do.
& then we wake up one late summer day
& the car in the driveway is all packed up.
their bedroom is mighty empty.
they have their new, own address.
& it’s time to go.
we cheer them on & tell them how proud we are of them
& they can do it.
all by themselves.
& you know what the funny thing is?
they already know this.
it’s what we’ve been preparing them for all along…
truvy ( in Steel Magnolias) said,
“Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”
joy & sadness all mixed together….
i might just have to agree