As I stuffed the last of the nachos in my mouth I remembered that just yesterday I had decided I was going to cut back on my salt intake. Oh well, so much for that. Starting… now… wait there’s one last crumb… okay now – I’ll cut back on salt. At least until I go grocery shopping.
These summer days have left me free to write, eat, feel and attempt housecleaning. The feeling part is necessary in order to be a good writer but it can also be painful. The walls of denial come crashing down forcing me to look within. Why am I so scattered? Why am I eating nachos in the middle of the day? Why am I wandering up and down the health food store searching for a holistic pill that will give me an energy boost?
Life is changing – that’s why. No pill is going to turn back the hands of time. My daughter is going off to college and my baby is beginning high school. Both of my children are elated to begin the new chapters in their lives and I am very excited for them. Except it feels as though every day we get closer to college move-in day another five-pound weight drops on my heart making it difficult for me to breathe.
A friend told me that she cried all last summer leading up to her daughter’s move-in day. I nodded and thought it wouldn’t be me. I’m not the crier in the family – Eric is. (Editor’s note: thanks for throwing me under the bus, Baby). Then last week Eric and I sat waiting for a table at a restaurant. A young couple across from us had a nine-month old baby girl. She was smiling and waving. Her mom told us that she was always happy. Next thing I knew I was turning my head to hide my tears. The wave of emotion caught me unprepared. The young couple with the smiley baby was Eric and I seventeen years ago. Had it really been seventeen years?
Today, before munching on nachos, Buddy and I picked up Kai from his high school orientation. Of course I brought the camera because I’m in the cherish every moment mode and he’s my baby. He came to the car beaming and talking incessantly. I listened and pretended my heart wasn’t hurting.
When we got home and I told Kai I needed to write this post but wasn’t quite sure what it would be about. He told me I should write about how awesome he is and how I’m sad because he’s beginning high school and Arielle is going away to college. So much for pretending. Then Kai sat down at the piano and played all my favorite songs.
When the kids were little, people warned me that having teenagers would be the most difficult time of parenting. They insinuated that it wasn’t fun. While I will admit asking, “Is your homework done?” all school year isn’t my favorite phrase – I have found being the mom of two teens to be icing on the cake of parenthood. They are young adults. While I
can’t carry them around on my hip anymore I can have a discussion with them about
their favorite author or listen to them play a beautiful song on the piano. We
can shop together, watch movies together and have long conversations at dinner. Knowing all this will end soon and, beginning in September, there will be one person missing from the dinner table is by far the most difficult part of parenting.
It’s not the teenagers – it’s the good-byes.
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