In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stretched Again

I gotta' admit, mothering two twenty-somethings, an eighteen-year-old and an almost six-year-old is challenging.
I often say I am stretched all over the parenting spectrum. Sometimes I laugh at my emotional contortions--and sometimes I cry.

Just the other day, I organized all of Christa's supplies for her first day of kindergarten. Her pink backpack with a purple butterfly decal, her "Hello Kitty" lunchbox, her assortment of crayons and glue sticks and washable markers were all arranged on the bench in my foyer.
"Here I go again!" I thought--twelve more years of first days of school.

And then I wandered downstairs to Katie Beth's room. She's my twenty-year-old. Boxes of her belongings--books, shoes, photos--lined the hallway. As Christa prepares for kindergarten, Katie Beth prepares to move out and into her first apartment.

The incongruity of it all hit me. And I didn't laugh. Instead I went upstairs, climbed into my bed and cried.

Just as it is the right time for Christa to start school, it is the right time for Katie Beth to go out on her own. But, that doesn't make it easier for me.
"I like my daughter," I told one friend. "And that means I'll miss her."

And that's a good thing--missing someone you love when they step out into their life--and away from you.

So, as I am letting go a little bit of Christa, I am completely releasing Katie Beth. Sure, she'll drop by for dinner and to wash her clothes--but that will be for a visit. Not to stay.

And I'm okay with that. Really I am.
Just ignore my sniffling.

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