Tuesday, December 13, 2011

GrowingUp: Last Christmas I Gave You My Rant...

Ok, so as last Christmas approached I was a little bit on the crazy reflective side. I knew it would be the last Christmas that our oldest daughter was still living at home and apparently I was a little nervous about the prospects of her leaving. Here is a glimpse...
 "This Holiday season has contradictorily been the same as most years and entirely different. In actuality, nothing has changed. We have baked gingerbread, attended the Nutcracker, decorated the tree, made new ornaments, wrapped gifts, sang carols and enjoyed the lights and the general festiveness of the pre-holiday season. The difference is that in the back of my mind I know it will never be like this again. You see, this is the last year that our oldest will be living at home full time. Don't get me wrong. I look forward to this time of her exploration and finding her grown-up self. Going off to college, meeting new people, seeing new things. Independence. But as the mom? Nope. Not so much. As the mom I think maybe she should just stay home forever; singing to me and writing songs and stories in front of the fire until we both grow old. Sound good? Yeah, I know. I just thought I would have more time.

When she was born, 18 years seemed like such a long time. It was quite a long time before she learned to crawl and then walk and then talk. Potty training? Forget it! That took an eternity. The first day of kindergarten seemed as if it would never come. But it came. And went. In the blink of an eye. Then weeks started flying by. And then months and years and now here we are. I hope she is ready. That is really my job as a mother. To prepare each of them them to leave. What a sucky job! Feeding and clothing and guiding and nurturing. Pouring your whole heart and soul into this little person; acting excited on the first day of school when all you want to do is wrap them in a blanket and rock them in a chair. Resisting the urge to run away from home the first time they tell you they hate you. Smiling and taking pictures the first time they drive away in the car without you, even though you would rather take out your own appendix with a butter knife because it seems less risky. All that just to have them pack their bags and leave? What the heck!? I change my mind. No kids for me. Yeah, I know... That shipped has long sailed. I just know that those days and weeks and years that are flying by will soon turn into decades.

I truly do look forward to seeing what each of my children becomes. The photographer/musician, the astronaut, the architect and the ballerina/baker. They are amazing little people. I can only imagine that they will be even more amazing big people. Who will hopefully bring some new big people into our lives and then make some new little people. (Oh c'mon...all moms hope that is what will happen!) But the selfish part of me just wants to freeze time. To scream, "Wait, I am not ready!"

When our oldest was around 5 or 6, we visited a small amusement park. She reluctantly decided to ride The Dragon, a kiddy roller coaster. Wide-eyed and pale she made the first circle clearly holding back the urge to let out a terrified scream. Her horror was obvious even to the teenage ride operator who stopped the coaster to let her off. When she got off she told us that it was both the most horrendous and most thrilling thing that she had ever experienced. That is me. Right now. Holding back the scream and yet somehow thrilling at the ride. I am not one for roller coasters ya know and I am not sure how I was even talked into getting on. But I can say for sure...What a ride!" (December 2010 K is for Kids)
Well, a year has passed since that post, and Number One Daughter has been off to college for  a few months now. We do miss her, and we are looking forward to having her home this next few weeks, but all in all, it has been a joy to witness her adventures. Yes, it is quiet as she is the only one of my children who ever really makes noise. We miss her noise. Her pounding of the piano and guitar. Her lovely voice belting out Bob Dylan. The way she can talk for 10 minutes without a breath. But this is her time to make her way in the world, and her absence really does make her return sweeter.

Quote of the Day: "It would seem that something which means poverty, disorder and violence every single day should be avoided entirely, but the desire to beget children is a natural urge." ~Phyllis Diller


  1. I can totally relate (esp. taking out the appendix with the butterknife part). Our eldest graduates this year, so I'm exactly where you were a year ago. Stop the clocks!

  2. Ditto! I hope I handle mine leaving the house as gracefully as you have Nature Girl! I only have the one child so I expect to feel it a little more severely than those with multiples, but I've lined up a second job already and I'm looking to keep my time filled with helping others!

  3. just thinking about you today & wanted to say thank you for your sweet post a few weeks back!! hope you have a very merry christmas with the oldest home! sounds like me... the whole talking without breathing thing & making lots of noise :)

    merry christmas!!

  4. love it. both last year's post and this one. thanks :)

  5. After our middle son had been away at college for about a month, he called and told us that he was homesick. We told him to just suck it up! We were terrified that he would decide to come home, and we'd have to start wearing clothes full-time again. Then he met a girl. End of story.

  6. It's true, right? You miss them like crazy, but you also enjoy all the new experiences and awarenesses they bring home with them when they visit.

    Living vicariously with a college student can be fun!


  7. I have thought about this with some trepidation, and honestly, some days with great anticipation! It helps to know you have already survived the process and it will all be okay. Actually i love your blog and think you have a gift for putting your thoughts to words. Thanks for sharing with me.

  8. I would lve to know what my son will be like when he gets older. Right now I am enjoying who he is.

  9. we always feel the house is super quiet when the kids (9 yrs and 6 yrs) leave the house for playdates on a day when we are all home.. we miss the noises they make.. and guess this is our glimpse into a life few years from now..

  10. ah, what is it they say...if you love something, let it go...I know I know...easier said than done. But it really is so true. With a little time and space between you, maybe you'll find that you can become better friends than ever...not so much mother to daughter, but adult mother to adult daughter. Wait and see!! Merry Christmas!

  11. I am reading this well after Christmas and wishing I could give you a big hug.

    It is hard to experience the change of holidays without our children.

    We act all brave and put on a good show but it is heart-wrenching.

    I thought and thought this year and decided I need to change my attitude.

    But to be honest, it's taken me many, many years to try and think of even doing the holidays in a different way.

    I know you'll find a path through this, but it doesn't mean it's ever easy.

    Sending you hugs and warm wishes for a 2012 filled with new traditions and peace.