My girl is coming home today! Her spring break and my spring break don’t align, but I don’t care. She’ll be home.
I must say her first year at college has flown by and we’ve adjusted well. I think it helps that she is healthy and happy and successful with her studies. A year ago I could not have imagined what life would be like without Bailey here each day. I refused to let myself think about it much because I didn’t want it to get in the way of enjoying those senior year moments.
The most difficult time wasn’t even driving her to school, lugging everything she owned up three flights of un-airconditioned stairs, or even kissing her goodbye and driving away. To be sure those were emotional and they challenged me to be strong, but she looked genuinely happy and that is all I could’ve asked for.
The moment of truth for me, however, came hours later. My husband and I drove the long “labor-day-weekend-of-traffic-into-Maine” ride reminiscing. We were feeling content with the life we had built together and so proud of our amazing kids. When we got home, I walked upstairs to put my things away and stopped outside my daughter’s room. I opened the door and looked at the empty. And that was how my heart felt, too. I sobbed. Not the sniffly, trickling tear… but the ugly cry. The one where your face gets so wet, your sleeves can’t soak it up fast enough and your shoulders shrug uncontrollably.
It didn’t last long. Within a few moments I was exhausted and spent, but I knew I’d be ok, because she was ok. Later, I sent her a text to say goodnight. I’d read all the advice about letting them contact you first, but that was just stupid! I’d always said goodnight and I wasn’t going to stop then. We exchanged texts during the next few days as I tried to piece together her new life in my mind.
The days turned into weeks, which turned into months, and here we are. Each time she comes home, my heart soars. I love hearing about her studies, her dance team, her friends. Our time together is more precious than ever. So today I’ll walk with a lighter step, I’ll talk with a smile on my face, and an ache in my arms that are ready to wrap around her.
Here’s to a wonderful break.
11 thoughts on “A Welcome Break”
A wonderful slice of life, Paula! It is packed with emotion, and I am feeling so happy for you right now. I imagine you are floating – anticipating your daughter’s arrival. Time does go by so quickly! I love the way you followed your heart and texted your daughter to say good night as you always have done. Good for you! Enjoy the time with your daughter!
Thanks Lynne. Life IS packed with emotion. I am so grateful for the joyful times probably because of the difficult ones!
I love the line about the ache in your arms. I also can completely relate to the joy of having your girl home. Have a great week with her.
Thanks, Melanie. I’m so excited.
You captured it perfectly .. you are happy because she is happy — but looking at that empty room is hard! Enjoy Spring Break and your time together!
Enjoy every second with her Paula! I can’t imagine how full your heart must feel each time she comes home and your family is together again for a short period of time. I bet on that same day you dropped her off she was feeling emotions quite similar to yours. I know I was on the day I got dropped off. Hugs!
Even though they’re in their 30s and haven’t lived home in years, I still feel that lightness in my step when I know my boys will be home. We’re always ready to hug them close! Have a wonderful week!
I was lucky in that my daughter went to college here in our hometown, so she never really left (actually she is still here, but that is OK.) My son is thinking about transferring this fall so I may experience those feelings you so eloquently wrote about. Enjoy every single minute with her this week!
I have lived through it and can truly empathize. The pride in the fact that she was confident enough to take this step and the bitter-sweet feeling that you had taught her well and now loved her enough to let her go. She will be fine and will grow enormously the next 4 years. I cried different tears when my daugther left for school than on her wedding day. What you just went through was the worst! Congratulations, you survived!
Your love for her is palpable, especially through your FB posts. Wishing you a wonderful week together!
Thanks Aileen. Grateful for every moment!