Anna, our youngest, started college this week. I’ve been trying to downplay her leaving, and it worked for the most part. No long drawn-out tearful goodbyes, just a good positive send off. I think she needed that as much as I did.
So I'm moping around a bit, trying to pamper myself as I get used to the idea of her being gone. I got groceries this week and what a weird feeling that was. Just the two of us to shop for now.
Change is hard. I don’t like change, never have. Part of the reason I write and take photos is to stop time. I can’t imagine raising a family without a journal and camera in tow. Someone once said that we lose our children, finally, to the adults they become. And though I wouldn’t trade this age, this season, for anything in the past, it is still hard.
I guess Mark and I will see how couple-living works. Thank goodness we like each other. Mark is a great father, but today is not much different than yesterday for him. He isn’t defined by his role as a father, like I am defined by my role as a mother.
I’ll be okay in a bit. I have other passions and work to do, but I’m taking some time to just . . . mourn, embrace . . . maybe the word is “experience,” this feeling of loss.
I wrote an essay once about a robin that was building a nest out my office window, fussing and fretting as she prepared for the momentous task of mothering. I felt her pain. One line of my essay read: motherhood fills you up to overflowing, until you spill over and stain the floor with love, and hope, and worry. Seems I’ve been wiping up for over twenty-five years. Now it’s time to move on and I’m not liking it.