I just calculated the last time I lived alone and it was somewhere around 30 years ago. So, once I finish the dishes that my daughter lovingly left me as a parting gift (so I wouldn’t miss her too much) and get the house cleaned, then get rid of all the furniture she left in my living room, (anybody need a nice dark brown desk?) I am going to love relaxing here!
I won’t know what to do with all the extra time I won’t spend cleaning. What a thrill! Maybe I’ll actually get this blog out on time for a change.
Of course I’ll miss her, because even though her cleanliness gene seems to have mutated into something unspeakable, she’s a lovely companion. Some nights we’d have dinner together and talk like a couple of old friends. It was really sweet. Then she’d snap out of it and realize I’m her mom, but I always enjoyed it while it lasted.
She was talking about what she’ll miss most here. She said, I’ll miss this house, my room, Topper…I waited then said, “Were you going to include me in the list?” She said I was part of the house, which makes sense since my cleaning arm is usually affixed to some part of it.
But, I’m excited for her. This is her time. Time to be away from home, learn about herself and what she wants. Last I heard, it was Media Studies, but these things can change. I hope she works hard because a bad college GPA haunts you like an unrelenting ghost.
I also hope she adds to the wonderful friendships she already has. I hope her new friends become lifetime friends, because I couldn’t have made it this far without mine. And I hope she starts to realize everything I’ve done to try to make her life pleasant. I think that’s an appreciation only your first year away can bring. That’s how long it took me to realize how lucky I was to have my loving, fun, food-centric parents and family.
I hope she has fun, but not too much fun and is more careful than I was. When I think of the stupid things I did in college, it’s a miracle I came through unscathed. But tiny Clarion in 1970’s Pennsylvania, is a far cry from UC Santa Barbara today, so I’m praying for the best for her.
It was hard to let go of her this morning, even after the fourth round of tearful hugs. I think because of the divorce, I felt like she got cheated out of those nice high school years in our cute house that her brother got. She got bounced across the country twice, which I’m sure wasn’t easy, but she didn’t complain and went into every one of her four high school with a good attitude.
I’m glad we got to spend her community college years together because I tried to make it feel like it used to feel in our old house. My door was always open to any friend she invited or who just showed up. I guess it was my way of trying to give her those lost high school years. You do your best as a parent then wait for the therapy sessions to begin once they’re in their 20’s.
I’m really so proud of her, and as happy as a mom alone for the first time in 30 years, can be. We’ve been a team, together since 2010, doing that dance that mothers and daughters do: laughing, fighting, being embarrassed, crying, hugging, singing out loud, struggling, propping each other up, and just hanging on together during some really crappy times. So tossing her out of the nest was harder than I thought it would be, but I can’t wait to see what the year brings – for both of us.