Adult Children · Parenting

See You Soon

Cathie and Devon after the spa
My oldest daughter & me a few years ago

Saying good-bye to anyone is difficult but if that someone is a daughter, it is a thousand million trillion times harder.

A few days ago, after returning from a trip to visit her boyfriend in Indiana, my oldest daughter announced her intention to move to the Hoosier state to be with him.  I knew this news was coming but didn’t realize it would be so soon.  She had previously mentioned a timeframe of September/October, and then moved it up to June/July so I should have known that it was going to happen even sooner, and it is.

She’s now leaving on May 3rd in the tiny wee hours of the morning, even before the San Diego airport is officially open.

It’s my fault: I bragged that all my girls would be with me on Mother’s Day despite the middle daughter attending college in New York.  The Universe in all her wisdom decided that it was not meant to be.

I know after she told me of her plans, as a mother, I didn’t have the right reaction.  Truthfully, I was a little angry because her announcement messed up plans made months ago.  I was counting on her to be at home during that time because I needed her help specifically.  Now that she is leaving I have to come up with a major solution to her absence.

Later in the day, however, I was lying facedown on the acupuncturist’s table receiving treatment for a recent bout of sciatica, and all the emotions hit me at once: my baby was moving to another state–not for college, and therefore, temporary, but by choice, and maybe forever.

She’s moving to a state that isn’t right next door like Arizona but a four-hour-flight-kind-of-state.  And not even just a four hour flight but one without a direct shot from San Diego.  To visit Devon, I’m going to have to either drive up to Los Angeles for a direct flight or be happy getting on four planes, round-trip.  Ugh.

Lying prone on the acupuncturist’s table, with needles everywhere, I sobbed as I realized I wasn’t quite ready to let my baby go.  How did this happen?  How did the time go so fast?  And, one thing I learned very quickly is how much needles hurt when you move your arm to blow your nose.  My poor acupuncturist was probably wondering why my face was so red after getting up from the table.

I recall moments in Devon’s childhood when I couldn’t wait for her to grow up. Devon was a difficult child and there were many, many moments when she was more than I could handle.  I thought that if she were grown up, I could reason with her.  I remember like it was yesterday when she was vomiting and having a temper-tantrum at the same time in Target.  Or when she would randomly hit a kid in the ball pit at McDonald’s and we’d have to leave, my head lowered in shame.  I remember the time she was kicked out of preschool.  Yes, kicked out of preschool!  Devon was always screaming, hitting, having temper tantrums, arguing, and being very disagreeable.  She was a very strong willed kid and I knew that trait would serve her well as an adult.

But then she grew up.  She could finally coherently communicate her frustrations in a respectful way.  She matured and now we’re friends.  We go out to lunch, dinner, get our nails done, laugh at the same jokes, and watch endless reality TV together.  She grew up just like I always wanted.  And she’s grown into a wonderful, loving, thoughtful, beautiful, sensitive, energetic woman I admire.

I got my wish but like the old adage says ‘be careful what you wish for.’

I’m going to miss my girl every day but I know it’s time to let her enjoy her life, and it is her life to enjoy.

My new wish is Devon does everything in life I was too afraid to do, and she’s successful beyond everyone’s dreams.  I hope she makes many new friends who love her as much as I do, and I hope she experiences true, unconditional love–the kind only a mother can give but a man can be a very close second.

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