For most of this summer we have been preparing for Sid to move to San Francisco for college. It has been a process that has taken on many aspects and emotions. Along the way we have had many talks. Some have been educational. Some have been about safety. And many others about her hopes and dreams.
My relationship with Sidney is changing. She is almost an adult. We have always been close, but after the talks we have had this summer, I think we have grown even closer. Woman to woman, heart to heart … my daughter is also becoming my friend. It is such a beautiful experience that I can’t quite wrap my words around it yet. And it struck me, recently, that it was time that I said something to her, that my mother was never able to say to me. Something … I was not looking forward to saying at all.
So yesterday, I decided that we would have the talk that I was dreading. This talk was going to be the most important one we have ever had, but getting the words out were not going to be easy for me. I had no example to follow, just the thoughts in my head and the feelings in my heart that I knew needed to be said.
I would be lying if I said that this whole “child leaving for college” thing was easy. It isn’t. At least not for me. I have had the privilege of being a stay-a-home mom. I haven’t missed much of my children’s lives. I was also never that mom who was thrilled when their kids went back to school. I loathe the end of summer and sending them back to school. I spend a good two weeks moping around getting used to them being gone again. Yes, on top of loving my children beyond measure, I have also thoroughly enjoyed their company.
Our life isn’t perfect. We have troubles and problems just like everyone else. But it doesn’t matter to me. THEY, my children, are what HOME is to me. They truly complete me.
So, as Sidney and I sat in our driveway yesterday evening after some dorm room shopping, I started talking. I started by telling her what she already knew. Things I have said many times before. How proud I am of her. How much I love her. And how successful I know she will be in this new phase of her life. I also told her (again) how hard this transition was for me. How much I would miss her. How my greatest fear was that what WE had come to call HOME would never look the same again.
And then … I said it.
My voice cracked and I tried to hold back my tears, as I told my daughter that it was Okay for her to never make our physical home together more than a “pitstop” in her life again. I told her to go and live HER life. To become the woman she wants to be and to never let anyone or anything stop her. To go wherever her life called her to go and not to “rush” things that seemed important. And then I told her that no matter where life took her, wherever I was, there would always be HOME for her to return to.
I am sure that we will have a few more talks before she leaves for school, but none will be more profound than the one we had yesterday. After all … it’s not every day that you give your child permission to grow up … and to break your heart.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you say what needs to be said!!!