With the exception of a few chick flicks and the time I broke my foot on a toy vacuum cleaner, the kids have rarely seen me break down and cry. I don’t know if it’s all these years as a fighter pilot’s wife, where I had to remain calm when a jet went down in the squadron (he just had a fire light go off in the cockpit last week.) Or it could be the fact I was raised with the responsibility of an adult. But I’m just not usually a typical girlie girl–at least when it comes to tears. All of that changed this past week.
After I followed all my own advice and got our daughter ready for college (scholarships, books at http://www.campusbooks.com/, dorm room gear at the site to store of http://www.walmart.com/) it was actually time for her to leave home. She’s the first girl I’ve launched.
I’ve been crying a bit since Bethany (aka Bunny) left on her college road trip on Weds morning. As I think about her, I realize that she has only been a joy and delight. Yes, we argued about grades, picking up her room and the occasional ‘tude when her evil twin, Stephanie, showed up. But unlike the arguments I’ve had with some of the guys throughout my life, Bethany was never mean. She was never cruel. She was always a delight.
She’s where she belongs, at Moody in Spokane and then she’ll go to MBI in downtown Chicago–all tuition paid. Bob and I worked ourselves out of a job–preparing her to launch out on her own and follow her unique path in life. She is surrounded by a great group of young women who are very sweet, seem to be thoughtful and others-centric. As a farewell gift, Bunny gave me a beautifully framed photo of her and I at her “farewell” dinner where Bob and I took her to a fave restaurant. It was a really good pic, we are both smiling and happy. She also gave me a tear-wrenching note, thanking me for what I’ve done for her. It is very special.
When our oldest son left for college there was grief at the bittersweet changing of seasons. When our next son left, he was in such a state of readiness to launch out on his own that the greater grief would have been for him to stay. I thot it would be “hardest” to send the first to college and I knew it would be somewhat hard to send off my daughter, but I was surprised by grief. I seem to cry constantly.
I go to the grocery store and start to get Gala apples because they are Bethany’s favorite. Then I realize she’s not home. I start to take out the trash and look around the floor for one of many of Bethany’s pairs of shoes to throw on while I walk outside (she’s notorious about leaving them lying around). But they are all gone. I’m doing stuff at home and realize I need to go check the mail out at the post office and don’t have time, so I think I’ll just ask Bethany to stop and do it while she’s out. But she’s not just out running errands–she’s not here.
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