-A mostly true journey of a girl, her man and their three kids; all trying to live harmoniously in a house somewhere in Utah. Names and exact locations may be changed in order to protect the grouchy.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 24 of Forty: Loosen those apron strings...

Today was productive. :) The kids were all home for end-of-the-quarter/ report card day so we hung around the house doing things we enjoy. The youngest got a chance to play Legos and run around in the yard. The middle child spent his day gabbing with friends via Xbox in his pajamas. The eldest sat on the sofa, knitting and gabbing with me. This quarter has been a busy one for all the kids so it was wonderful to see them be able to decompress.

I was able to get a lot of sewing things completed. I finished a baby bag project, a few more zippys and a ton of little tissue holders. They needed to be finished and mailed out tomorrow for my commenters from a few days back. For those of you that knew you were getting one, they are on their way :)

When I decided to become a stay-at-home-mom, I thought I would be able to be more involved in the kids' lives. To a large extent I have. But they each have so much going on. They have their own little worlds spinning. Sometimes I feel like I'm that cat that watches race cars go around a toy track. The cars keep speeding by while the cat follows with her head and tries to intervene when she can with her paw...

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Today was one of those days where I could sit and hear the details and be present with the eldest. As she spoke I listened, paying a bit more attention to every subject. I watched her multitask with that ball of cashmere yarn and her phone; not missing a beat of our conversation.

I know it's coming. I know that next year she may be away at a dorm, or with friends in some apartment. She will be laughing and gabbing with others; sharing inside jokes and making someone laugh until they can't breathe.  That's the way it is supposed to be. That is what I want for her.

I watch my friends have relationships with their older daughters and know that there is hope that the eldest and I will remain close. But I have this incredible fear that something wonderful is slipping away from me. I know it's selfish. I know that she's become everything I knew she could be; I just don't know how to share. She has become this amazing adult who I would absolutely be friends with if I wasn't her mom. It's like I'm reading this fantastic book. I'm so in love with the story and the characters but before I know it, I realize there are only a few pages left. What's going to happen when I get to that last page?

Nothing is permanent, I know that. In fact, that young lady is already off tonight, enjoying her world, separate from family. She is having fun on her own. The glimpse of hope here is that I keep receiving texts from her, joking about something silly we talked about today.

I need some advice. How do you love and nurture something your whole life only to let it go? Isn't that the goal of all moms?

Leave me your thoughts...

Happy blessed Friday, friends :)

10 comments:

  1. I think I finally realized I had done a good job with Hunter when he called me on Halloween and said that he was craving something for dinner, but couldn't figure out what and was roaming the aisles of the grocery store. The minute I said Chili, he said that's it. All those years of chili dinners for Halloween after trick-or-treating had left an impression on his subconscious. More than that are the daily calls or texts letting us know how his day went, advice on how to cook some new recipe, or just to check in. The greatest joy we have had as parents has been to watch the values and ideals we tried to instill in him bloom. He is learning about himself, exploring opportunities, growing daily, and discovering the potential we as his parents always knew was there. Our role has changed to one of consultant, and I am so grateful he feels he can turn to us as a sounding board before making his own decisions. He knows home is always there for him, but that knowledge has given him the courage to move forward. Now we are watching Wil take those same steps and soon Jon will follow. It is the best.

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  2. Ann, I love your wisdom. Thank you for sharing and giving me hope that there are only great things ahead. :)

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  3. I feel like, with one who is 20 and one who is 22, I should have an answer or some wise words for you. I feel more, though, like I'm still taking steps in that journey. Yes, it's different when they're in college and you're no longer there every day and you don't know the teachers, and there is no PTA (ok, there is at Rebekah's school, but I was threatened before I even got a chance to consider it). My oldest, though, is one of my best friends now. In a few weeks we're moving and a few weeks after that, she's moving into her own place for the first time. I know that she'll be close, but I know that life will be different. It feels like a very big step off of the parenting track. I can relate to Ann, though, about seeing the values I've instilled in them blossoming. It's an amazing process!

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    1. Hilarie, you are an excellent example as well of what I was talking about. Beautiful children who are going to be awesome adults. I love your line about the PTA. I was a teacher in the school my daughter went to from k-6. She wanted nothing to do with my presence in another academic building! (ha!) Thank you for taking the time to write down what I know in my heart, but still need to process. One day at a time, right?

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  4. I've learned that letting go is one of those things that doesn't get any easier no matter how much practice you've had (yes, I'm a slow learner). That is why we fear letting go. Raising a child is all about learning to let go. At first, your child depends on you for everything. Then they learn to walk, feed themselves, dress themselves, pick up after themselves (some of us are still working on this one), and be successful on their own. These are all milestones we celebrate, but we don't always realize that although our child might need us less in some ways, there are new ways we can nurture and help them.

    Our eldest is fast approaching a stage in her life that will be full of change and new opportunities. Honestly, her move to this next chapter in her life is going to be the hardest challenge we have faced so far. The only thing that will make it a little easier is to know that wherever she may be in a year from now, she will be well prepared. Those little nuggets of wisdom or the inside jokes that were shared when gabbing with her mom on a day off will still be there even when you physically can't be there. And with this new chapter will come new opportunities to mentor and nurture that we haven't even thought of yet. :)

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    1. Thanks Man. We'll get there. Hey, When did you have time to write this? You're supposed to be scraping that basement floor! Ha! Aw, you know I love you; you'll make a fantastic mama someday.

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  5. You have built a wonderful and strong relationship with Alex. She may go out there into the big world, but you will always be her safe place. That is the gift in the end, watching her make all the right choices and knowing you have raised a great human being. You did good kid. :)

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  6. Thanks, K. I love the thought of being her "safe place". What more could a mom want to be?

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  7. Wow. See? Talking about cookies, pie, and a messy room was easy! Ugh...
    Well, first off, I thought I would cry reading your blog, then reading your dear friends words. BUT man! I read your wonderful partner-in-crimes word's and....oh gosh...tears. You both have done an amazing job with the eldest. She is funny and sweet, SMART, and such a good person. Oh, and did I mention my favorite? Just as sarcastic as her momma. ;)
    My two oldest girls are now out on their own. I am very proud of the people they have become, not that at certain times I didn't have a few doubts! LOL! Or mention to a few people that I didn't think they would live to see 13...14...15...16...well, you get it. They are so much better than I am, in so many ways. I'm truly in awe of that. Now I have 2 more to raise. Yikes!!
    Hugs to you and that cutie man of yours. It's going to be hard at first, but it will get easier as time goes on. I promise. <3

    Love ya!
    FF

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    1. Nickie, I'm so glad you commented; you were one of the women I was speaking about in my post. I also love how you said that they are much better than you in different ways. I always think that about my kids. One day at a time, for sure. My eldest is going to love your guts for saying that she's your favorite, even though we all know it's really the man. <3 you, wise lady!

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