Or it will be next week.
As I write this, I am in full prep-mode for moving our youngest to her university town for her first year of school. As you read this, however, I will be in the middle of actually doing it. I figured that since I would have my hands full and maybe not great access to the internet, I should write and post this now. The thing is as I write this, I’m trying to stay in denial. I know this. My daughter knows it. It’s the only way I can cope. I am keeping myself busy, distracted, trying to avoid the conscious acknowledgement of the future “empty room”. But as I write this, the emotional truth is rising up, hitting me square in the chest.
|Michele at 6. I could say something cheesy about the plane and "flying away", but I won't...|
|Because this one just makes us all laugh...|
|Because when you start with one cute kid shot, it's hard to stop...|
|And because you've already seen her all grown up...|
I know fundamentally all will be well and good; I will get to reconnect with my husband, myself, my cleaner house; I’ll get used to it; it will be the new normal; there are phone calls and texting and skype. Blah blah blah.
But the truth is it is a heartbreaking and difficult transition, this one. My baby is leaving and her room will never be the same. Sure, it might be a lot cleaner. Sure, I might have greater access to my towels, my bathroom, my kitchen counter, my clothes. But that soon-to-be clutter-free, laundry-less bedroom across for my own will now loom like a portal––maybe to an old life, maybe to the new one––and it’s now-open door will be a daily reminder of who is gone.
This might all be overly dramatic or emotional or just plain wrong, but I’m telling you: this is exactly how it feels on this day. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
Deb: Not too dramatic at all in my opinion, for you know I have been there and you know the whole sad wrenching tale. Thought I would die the day the boy left. I felt so empty I could not fathom how I was able to stand up with nothing inside to hold me together.
I will tell you though from my vantage point three years post leaving: it does get better. It becomes normal, it becomes just your life. As quickly as the hands-on Mum in grade school grade school was forced to become the hands-off Mum in high school, you will adapt.
But yeah, the room.
Fortunately the boy’s room is on the other side of our home so I don’t have to pass by it every day as you do. But it brings to mind one of the best parenting choices I ever made. When Luke was growing up we never ever fought about the state of chaos that was his room. Our only rule was: tidy it on Thursday nights for the cleaning lady coming. He did, and it never became an issue. I never wanted to rant about pop cans and dirty underwear on the floor and I didn’t. I knew that all too soon, it would be as neat as a pin and as empty as my heart.
Cut to three years later ... It’s a great place to keep the iron and ironing board.
But wow, do I ever look forward to that visiting carpet of dirty underwear when it appears, however brief.