Today at 5pm my daughter Courtney is having her awards ceremony commemorating her junior year of school accomplishments. I’ve been to many of these events with both my daughters. But this year feels very different.
Her and I relocated to Charlottesville VA last August (which I need to blog about!). She attended the school back in Michigan along with the friends and family she has known her entire life. Now new school, new state, new city…new friends. The school is small in size but has opened a world to her in ways that every Mother hopes for! For her this has been a year of reinventing herself.
That isn’t why this year feels different to me. She is my youngest and last daughter to complete high school. Thinking back on the last few years of Lindsays days at Lumen Christi High School brings a sweet excitement of memories for me. Preparing her the best I could for graduation and college…it was a new adventure for myself as a Mom. Seeing her excitement was infectious! Those feelings are not the same for me now. I feel a deep feeling of emptiness.
The three of us have a strong bond and my girls are literally my oxygen. Who I am, the beliefs I have, the core of my very soul was modeled from the journey of being their Mom. And now I face the reality of having to let go, again. Her young adult life journey will soon be mapped and I have to open my hands and allow her to take the car keys. I’ll of course have to give her gas money as well!
This is the normal progression of parenting. I realize this and know that I will never lose them. And for all my sadness the excitement and anticipation of their future experiences is double! But as a Mother staring straight into the last year of having my youngest daughter (and friend) home with me leaves me shaken with doubt, fearful of change and cold with loneliness. Strange, I had children when I was young so at this point in my young adult life I could begin to focus on my desires. Now facing head-on to my 24 year old “thought through” plan, the only words that die to escape my lips are ”don’t go!”
I will feel the need to write much more about this topic in the year to come. For now I will continue to guide, support and love her as I always have. However I think the moments will slow down, her laughter will flood me with more happiness, the challenges will allow me to hold her close a little longer and my eyes will photograph more accurately the coming year. I WILL make this year one for us both to remember!
But, for today I will sit with pride and tears watching the awards she no doubt has earned. Being thankful that the tears swelling from all these emotions I envelope will at least clear my contacts from my dehyrated eyes!
Photo taken by Miktess