that's me - Stephanie Boman!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Darling Daughter's Departure

When I pass her room and see the boxes piled up my heart hurts. When I step into her empty closet my gut wrenches. When I lay on her bed and smell her scent I lose it. Darling Daughter is leaving for Oregon on Labor day. The enormity and finality of it is washing over me like a tidal wave and threatening to sweep me out into oblivion. Why didn't I paint toenails with her more often, take her to lunch, shop when she wanted to? I always thought there'd be more time for that, but my heart hammers as I realize time's up.

I am not a helicopter parent. I do not hover. I am excited for my daughter to be independent and well-adjusted. I just love her so much.

She was a freshman at community college this past year and we saw so many changes. She was beginning to emerge from the teenage egocentricity (emerge, mind you, not free of). She learned to take responsibility for herself, especially with her schooling and finances. The enormous relief to a parent that comes from the end of nagging is indescribable. We were able to start a new chapter in life. One where she became a dear sister to Wee One, a friend to me and a source of pride to her dad.

We only got to enjoy one year of it. Husband and I agree that it would have been much easier if she had left shortly after high school. Mother nature produces those strains through the adolescent years for a reason. It's a way to begin the eventual separation. We were always close, but the drama was really hard to endure. Tensions were high, but they've disappeared significantly since then.

I could list a thousand little things I will miss with her gone. But I'm trying not to be selfish and concerned only with what I'm losing. I'm trying to be excited for her new adventure. I haven't cried in front of her yet, I don't want her to feel more homesick. I already made husband cry, though. It will be tough for all of us.

I'm making a herculean effort to hold it together. I know all of our good times together are not over. We can still paint toenails, go out to lunch and shop when we visit. I'm going to enjoy watching her spread her wings and start this new phase of life, and treasure the parts I get to yet share with her.


Angela M. said...

Awww! This'll be me soon. My son's in his senior year about to turn 18. The regret for time lost is the hardest for me. I try not to think yet about him leaving, but I can feel it like the heavy air before a storm. Changes like these are hard, but I'm glad you're able to pull out the good things and try to focus on them.

Evelyn S. said...

I remember the days my two sons left....the first one to culinary school, never to come home again except on brief visits (he is in New York now)....and the younger one to college (home summers until his sophomore year). Thankfully, cell phones and the internet make it easier to stay connected. When I went to college in the 60's, it was letters and a phone call once a month! (I'm in Oregon!)

Jen said...

I'm sure it's quite the experience! My mom talked about when I left, then when I married and now soon starting a family, all the emotions your parents go through it. You think it's silly until it happens to you!

Blooming Eventually said...

How did it go?

Geez, and I am feeling guilty for not playing princesses on the floor with Noodle more before she started Kindergarten. It's all just a reminder to live in the present, I suppose, whatever that looks like.

Remember that if DD needs anything we're only 2.5 hours away...please don't hesitate to ask.

greybruceartist said...

Hi Stephanie..your posting resonates for me profoundly. Like a fresh wound i am still reeling from the departure of my one and only on her life adventure to university ..This is her second year-feeling more like a separation and certainly more poignent as she has her bed and all her belongings stuffed into a small room in a big house with five other girls. There is something about the space around us that feels empty in this small home. The drama and upheaval she stirred over her time here-trying her darndest to individuate caused me many moments of heartache and dismay. Now-although proud and excited for her- I feel tentatively peaceful..until that next phone call ...can't wait to see her ..hold her again
ahh the inevitable journey! heather

Perri said...

Thanks for the reminder.My oldest is just edging into adolescents (11!) and I am doing my best to savor the moments.

You are a wise Mama. Perhaps the relationship will grow in ways you don't yet know...

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