I am sitting here, my first cup of coffee half done, staring out the window at the steady but light snowfall. It is my last week with my daughter before she moves back to the city. The house is silent, not even one of my eight dogs is stirring. As I sit here I think about when my daughter was small. I was a single Mom of a little girl and for years it was just me and her against the world.
Now here she is 21 years old and leaving home for the second time. I feel old suddenly, as if the years have finally caught up to me and I am just now realizing life has changed drastically. When my daughter first left for college, it took me three years to figure out how not to cook for an army. Just as I was getting a handle on life without a child in the house her life fell apart, and suddenly she was there again. I’m not complaining, I am just saying it’s funny how life works.
As of Friday she will be gone again, and while I really want her to do well this time, the thought that she will once again be living far from me is weighing on me. You see I am a nervous Mother, I never thought so before until my daughter moved to Toronto, then it became painfully obvious. I would lie awake at night and wonder if she was okay. So many things can happen to a young girl in the city, you hear about them all the time. A tear rolls down my face and I wipe it away. “Buck up!” my brain thinks. “She’s not a little girl anymore!”
I know my daughter wants to be independent, she has been fighting for independence since she was 2 years old and told me she did not need my help to bathe. Then I had the luxury of giving her the appearance of independence while staying in the wings to make sure that no harm came to her. Now I no longer have that luxury, it’s time to let go completely and I am so not ready!
I know that every time I hear a news story about a woman her age I will stand and wait to see if they release a name, heart in my throat praying it isn’t her. I know that the next time the power goes out in Toronto, or her cell phone dies I will worry until I hear from her. She hates all that of course and is always reminding me that she is an adult now, and she can handle life. Somewhere in the back of my brain I know that, but the Mother in me will never truly let go of the protective stance I take with her.
I guess all that really means is that I am a Mother, and no matter how old my child gets I will always be her Mother and she will always in my eyes be my baby girl! I will always worry if she is eating enough, sleeping enough, has enough money to live. After all, after 21 years of worrying and caring for someone you can’t just flip a switch and stop.
Boy this kids leaving home thing is stressful, even if it is the second time! Okay, I’ll be alright as long as I remember to BREATHE!