Today my oldest daughter, my first born child, had her senior high school portraits taken. Her hair was shiny and straight as can be; her oval face was flawless. Her pink cardigan was understated and the crystal cross necklace she was given on her thirteenth birthday was prominently displayed. She was as happy and bouncy as a 17 year old senior could be. As she posed for her first round of shots, I looked at her and thought how our life will change after her senior year.
My beautiful 8lb. 4oz. baby girl is now leaving us. I feel like my other partner in life I grew up with is now moving on to her own life. What will my life be like with out her living with me?
I had my first cry about her graduating high school when I dropped her off for freshmen orientation three years ago also known as Fish Camp. How do mothers deal with their children leaving home? When she is at college do I call her everyday and ask what she did and who she was with? Shouldn’t I expect her back to the dorm room at a reasonable time? Not speaking to her for twenty-four hours is unacceptable to me. What if something happened? What if her phone isn’t charged? What if she is hungry and her clothes are dirty?
Our oldest experiment is leaving, the one we made so many mistakes with. We are sending her out into the world that is scary. For the last eleven years it’s always been about the three girls, the sisters and now the oldest is leaving the house. What will happen to their sisterly bond? Will they still fight? Will they still share silly stories or pinky swears over the phone?
Drama and chaos are frequent guests at our home everyday sometimes all day. The chaos will surely be lacking with one less drama queen in the house. My husband says “One down three to go” and he already has plans for her room, he calls it his man cave. However I know he will miss his little girl that gave him make-overs before she had sisters. He will miss the little girl that painted his toes to match the lipstick. He kids himself now but he doesn’t realize that a whole new set of worries will be all consuming when she is away at college.
She will come home and we will eat the same food and frequent the same places, but people change and she will change. We will all get older separately now, not together like before. Will she see my wrinkles and her dad’s receding hair line? Will we see her new hair style or…tattoo?
I vow to be the best college mom to come home to. I will cook her favorite meals, wash and fold all of her laundry with no complaints. We will get our nails and eye brows done together like old times. I will shop for supplies to get her through until the next visit and then happily do it all over again. How many care packages should we send in the meantime? How many notes saying how much I love and miss her are too many? Will she miss me too?
She will learn many things at college, and one lesson will be that only her mother could love and worry about her the way I do.