Notes from a Mom - Mother & Daughter Heading in New Directions

What can I say that hasn’t been said by hundreds of thousands of other parents? It went too fast…I can’t believe this is really happening….

I’ve been getting teary for the last year. College tours, college acceptance letters, Senior sunrise, Homecoming, Senior Ball, Senior Sunset, Graduation…Oh dear, graduation – I was floating above my body all day. I felt like I was moving in slow motion and unable to really understand what was happening all around me. The waterworks delayed for a bit, but I had to retreat. Thank heavens her dad hosted the graduation party. I was in a daze.

Mind you, I am not sad. I am – as one often is at the end of a long beautiful journey – stunned that it is ending, so happy that I got to be a part of it, nostalgic for all of the good times, hell, even the really hard times. I second guess myself less and less as the memories play 8 mm film like in my memory. We did our best. We made it. We actually knocked it out of the park.

For her part, Megan is continuing to grow and become who she is meant to be. She is sturdy, thoughtful, intelligent, witty and beautiful. She has a caring heart and does not suffer fools lightly. Reading back through this she might not like sturdy as an identifier. But she is. She has sound reasoning skills and is not easily influenced. She is confident. People know not to mess with her. And all of those things make her “sturdy.” I once had a dear friend say to me that he never worries about me. As a mother, I cannot say never. I can say that I worry less than I thought I would.

I have been missing her already. We have been down in the San Francisco Bay Area since school let out getting Rhea ready. Megan stayed in town with my parents to have her final summer among friends, the rest of her family and her job. You see – She has a life. Just as all parents have their grown up lives running parallel to their mommy and daddy roles. I am proud of her and happy to have been her mommy. Now I am mom and occasionally (with an eye roll) mother. It is all good.

I am officially an empty nester today having helped move her into the dorm and stood too long saying “so long” to the only person to have ever been a part of me. You know what stands out about that last hug? She and I no longer have the same smell. She has her own smell. Like she did the day she was born. Gradually our scent became one and now it has diverged again. Silly, huh? More a metaphor I guess. She isn’t gone – merely gone down her own path on to the next adventure. The way I did and the way her children will too.

As River and I have prepared for our own adventure I have had so many emotions. Leaving the place that I have called home for 40 years is an adjustment. One that I must make as I am called to the sea for adventure and a renewed sense of what life is – at least what it is to me. There are few people who really understand this undertaking. To many it seems that we will live out our days on perpetual holiday. To the initiated it may seem (and it may be true) that I truly do not know what is in store for me. To me it is a time to unlearn and then to relearn in order to become the best version of myself. This list of things to unlearn is shorter than the list of things to learn and yet seems more daunting. I digress…

I am looking forward to watching her journey unfold. If the past four years have been any indication my guess is it will be like tuning into your favorite TV show only to find that you have missed 4 or 5 episodes and they are not on your DVR, or HULU, or Netflix. Some parts will remain a mystery and the rest I will cling to for dear life.

Make reasonable choices, CJ

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