Monday, October 9, 2017

Miss Her More

When both of her kids stayed in Pennsylvania after attending college there, my mom adjusted. She fell into a routine of not seeing us, remaining connected via phone calls and visits. The former were at least as frequent as they'd been when we were in college, the latter less so. Still, we stayed close, chatting often about both trivia and events of significance. Last fall, we talked a lot about the impending election and, though I miss my mom tremendously, I'm glad she's not here to see the aftermath.

But I digress.

It was the visits that got her. She always said she was fine with us being away until we came to visit and then, when we left, she missed us all over again.

I thought I got it then, but I really get it now.

On Friday, I was so excited about my daughter coming home for the weekend that I posted my Friday Feature on the wrong blog (at least that's the excuse I'm using). When I picked her up at the train station, it took all of twenty seconds for everything to feel as though she'd never left, and then, almost as quickly, it was time for her to leave again. A seasoned traveler now, she said her goodbyes in the parking lot before walking off into the station to board the train.

Today, the house is very quiet. That's not entirely bad, as Mondays are a work-at-home day for me for much of the day and I concentrate better in the absence of distractions. Still, there's a difference between quiet and occupied and quiet and unoccupied. Even though I've grown accustomed to the latter and have even built my schedule around it, I'd trade it for the former any time, even if only for a weekend.

We'll see her again at Thanksgiving, and I'm already looking forward to it. We texted back and forth this morning -- a luxury that makes this whole away at college thing easier than it ever was for my parents -- re-establishing the empty nest at home/young adult at school dynamic.

All of this begs a question: if I could change things and have her closer to home, or living here full-time, would I?

I would not.

idamkilde via Pixabay
I'm proud of the person she is becoming, and grateful to have a child with whom I truly want to spend time. I love it when she's home, but when she's not it's because she is doing exactly what we raised her to do: spreading her wings, becoming her own person, relying on us when she wants to instead of because she has to. She has done her job; she has entertained us, challenged us and rounded out our family. Now, it's time for her to leave us to our own devices, trusting that we'll be just fine and our empty nest will always have plenty of room for her.

And, as you can probably guess, she is safe in that assumption.

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