Or She Is Just Growing Up? Our daughter doesn’t seem to be registering this transition as different from her return to boarding school each semester. Nor does her dad. The great leveler of all things emotional, he describes the process as signifying that “She is just growing up.” True, but somehow there is some legality to all this that I can’t quite grasp. Does it mean anything that she is funded by the state; after all, we are still her legal guardians? Or that we contracted with Ability Beyond Disability to take care of her? She is living so close to home that for quite sometime or until we sell this home, she will probably keep an equal amount of her belongings here as there…the new home. Though spilling a few tears I am mostly gathering my wits to pick up some last minute items, as instructed: one peach and one lavender Tom’s of Maine deodorant and Spray and Wash for stains. She packed her duffle with DVDs, a ceramic angel, an old local High School yearbook and her stuffed animal from the Black Dog shop on Martha’s Vineyard. Later this afternoon I will deliver the goods and join the girls and their team for the official move-in celebration at the apartment, camera in hand. Her brother is coming to mark the passage, which will delight her most of all.
How Do I Feel? Thank you for asking. I feel ready for a break. Thursday I am heading to Manhattan to see all the museum shows I have been missing, including the highly touted Alexander McQueen fashion show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, three days short of its closing. I am off to the Frick, the Jewish Museum and what ever else I can stuff into the day. At dinnertime I will meet my kindergarten buddy who lives in Aspen, Colorado and we will share the joys of motherhood along with memories of childhood. But that is Thursday. I am not sure how the next few days will feel. It is kind of like breaking up with someone with whom you go to school or work minus the hurt feelings and ruptured bond. Though the contract has shifted, the proximity continues. She is only 20 minutes away. How often do I see her? We will see. I know me. I get emotional but I do love my freedom.
A Win Win For Everyone: Despite my incessant maudlin meanderings, I know this is a win for all of us. Watching our daughter proudly unpack her clothes, placing them neatly in her new chest of drawers and arranging items on her spacious new desk while insisting, “I’ll do it,” made me feel great. She is happy and, frankly, so are we. So quit your b-tching mom. It doesn’t get better than this!
©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011