So on Friday, I had to do one of the hardest things a parent has to do. Let their child grow up and gain their independence. I had to move my middle daughter, Destiny, out and into college. Now I have already went through this with my oldest, Saveina, but she only lives half an hour away. Also, my oldest lives in the city I work in. This is so convenient because I can have lunch with her and take her grocery shopping when she needs it. However, my middle moved about 4 hours away. I'm thankful it's not that far but realistically speaking, I can't just wake up and decide to have lunch with her. It's far enough where if I wanted to see her I'd either need to make a choice to sleep there or endure the long drive back.
Before our trip down to Socal (where Destiny's college is), she mentioned to me that she wished she had a bracelet that had #WWMD engraved on it. I asked her why and she said that if she got homesick or felt lost, she could look at her bracelet and think about how I would handle challenging situations. Destiny and I have a special bond. Of course, I love all my girls with all my heart but I do have to say Destiny and I have the closest relationship. This is because she allows me in her life and considers me her best friend. She even sleeps with me sometimes when I get scared (after a nightmare) or she's scared. She also seeks my advice and opinion about things happening in her life. Her sisters include me in their lives as well but they kind of keep to themselves most times
Anyway this Friday, I rented a pick-up truck and packed it with her boxes and bike. Then I drove her and her little sister, Tavie, down to Socal. We've had plenty of road trips before but this one would be different. We'd return with one less person. I knew this day was going to be hard. I've been crying for months in anticipation of this day when she would leave for college. I thought maybe when the day came, I would be a lot stronger since I prepared myself with plenty of tears before hand. Wrong. Let me tell you what mommy would do or what mommy actually did...
I cried. I secretly would cry before bed just thinking about the day she would leave me for college. I knew and I think most parents understand that once their child goes to college, there's a likely chance they're not gonna live back at home anymore. These past years she was home would probably be the last years of us all living together. What would mommy do? Mommy worried about whether or not her daughter was ready for the "real world". Mommy tried shoving all of life's lessons and positive affirmations down her daughter's throat. In hopes that these tools given would make it easier for her to live in the "real world". Mommy created a mental checklist of all the things Destiny would need to survive without her. Mommy got a rental truck, created a timeline of when to hit the road and when to make a pit stop. Mommy thought about what snacks to pack for the ride ahead. Mommy thought about air pressure in the tires. Mommy thought about if we should eat breakfast here locally or out on the road.
When we got to her college here's what mommy did...we unpacked her stuff, took a walk on campus, went to dinner and had sushi, came back and helped her unpack a little more. Then we did what I was not looking forward to...we said our good byes and parted ways. I couldn't decide if I should leave now or later. But I realized, there really was no right time to leave. Because it would still be just as difficult whether an hour or two later verses right now. I cried. I cried on the road with my Tavie in the passenger seat. I cried on the road for a good thirty minutes. I debated if I should turn back around and stay for another hour or two. I asked Tavie to text Destiny and ask her what she was doing. Then surprisingly something special happened. My Tavie who is usually in her room (she's 15) and rarely talks to me about her life started opening up. She started talking to me about her new school and how she's learning how to step out of her comfort zone. How she's learning that she has control over her life and how she wants to design it. It was a beautiful 2 hour conversation. We even stopped to get coffee in the middle of the night on our way back home. Something that I don't let her drink but I thought fuck it...we've both had a rough day. We both said goodbye to someone. She said bye to her sister and I to my Destiny.
We're home now and here's what mommy would do or actually did with one less daughter home...I cried. I stayed in the living room with Tavie watching her play video games. When she was done, I asked her to come sleep with me. The next day, Saturday, I woke up and felt like something was missing...of course it was my daughter. I walked past her room and I cried. I had a dinner party to attend later that evening and was debating if I should go. I wasn't much company to be around. I was just tired and really sad. I didn't want to bring my negative mood around other people but I didn't want to stay home and sulk either. So I forced myself to get ready. I even put on eyeshadow in hopes it would brighten up my mood. It didn't. Yea, I know. I was being pathetic. I got to the dinner party and was one of the first guest there. I figured I could help my friend prepare for the party. He could tell I was in a shitty mood but was so busy preparing, we barely talked about it. Which was fine with me because I didn't want to inundate myself with the whole ordeal.
The party was awkward. I wasn't my usual social self. Most of the time, I either sat or stood by myself. Well actually that's a lie. I had a glass of Malbec to accompany me...So what would mommy do? Drink a whole bottle of Malbec to myself. Apologize to the host for being so antisocial. Hide out in the back office of the building with the lights off. Continue to try and call Destiny several times only to get her voicemail and then a text saying she was busy. Then come back out to the party and make effort to speak to the other guests and pretend to enjoy my conversations with them. I'm really not a bitch but last night, I was just emotionally drained. I tried calling Destiny again, and this time she answered. But she was in a hurry. She was on her way with a friend to another friend's dorm. It was 11pm. I traced her voice for any signs of missing me or needing me. That was a negative. Instead, she was in a hurry to get off the phone. So I hung up and went out to the party and this time made friends. I guess the biggest part of me was worried that she would need me, and I wouldn't be right there for her. But after our call, I realized she was fine. She was having fun, and I was being that over bearing mom.
Some of my friends have said to me, at least you have another kid around, it shouldn't be so hard. Or you've gone through this already with your first, this should be a breeze this time around. It never is actually. And it is a process. I love all my girls. And I'm sure when I go through this with my third, it'll be just as hard again. I get scared of thinking about my life without my girls. All I've ever known is my life with them. Now I must focus on my own and it's kind of scary. At first, I was excited at the smell of freedom around the corner but in all actuality it frightens me. So what would mommy do now? Cry. But I'm moving on...my family dynamics have changed, yes. But I need to evolve and adapt. After the ride back with Tavie, it made me realize I can now take this time to build my relationship with her. And for that I am thankful. When that time comes for me having to let her go too, I will deal with it then. But for now, I will appreciate the time that I do have with her. That's what mommy would do.
To see her move in a nutshell...
A little about me...
I'm learning how to look at everything with love, even if it seems impossible, like rush hour traffic. I want to share my journey of self-love so that others may want to emulate and pass it on into the universe. Ohh...and sometimes people call me Suzie.