Yes, those are the very words I said to two of my children at the dark, ungodly hour of 6 a.m this morning. It caused both to snicker, which was my intent. As life long homeschoolers, the concept of getting up, eating fast and hustling out the door to go to school is a foreign one. Today, however, they are participating in a SWAT demonstration, thanks to Nicole's involvement with Search and Rescue. They are going into different schools (which are empty for spring break) and pretending to be involved in a school shooting so the SWAT team gets practice on how to handle the situation. Last I talked to Nicole, they were having pizza and Caspian was having a great time screaming and running with her.
I am cherishing my moments with Nicole right now . . . we have put some tentative plans into place for how she will be spending the next year of her life and the GOOD mother is thrilled because I think it is a fabulous choice. The BAD mother thinks that her heart may just shatter on the ground when she has to say goodbye for (potentially) 10 months. The idea of her traveling about the world with others is both terrifying and thrilling for me. It about killed me when her older sister did it and this is even harder because age has not brought a wedge between us. We are each other's dearest friends. If she ends up based in Sacramento, California, which we are hoping, then she will only be 10 hours away and we can see her. If she is sent to the Maryland campus . . well . . . not.
I keep reassuring myself that if our children are ready to spread their wings and fly away from home, that means we did the whole parenting thing right. There is an element of comfort in that but mostly I just see this huge void that she will leave when she goes. I'm still grappling with the void my mom and dad have left and so far, 3 months and 2 years later respectively, it hasn't shrunk any.
Clearly, life is full of change. Most of the time, I really, really like it but I have to admit that letting my children go is one of the hardest ones. I know that I will always have a place in their hearts (even if they seem to not realize it at times) but I just won't have a daily presence in their lives. After being so close for so many years, that is a tough life lesson.
Sigh. On the other hand, I got a report from the wonderful world of Social Security in the mail last week. They gleefully informed me that if I keep working until I am 70, I will get a monthly check for $2500. Sigh. I have to wonder if my wrists and eyes will last another 21 plus years. Of course, the idea that 70 is only 21 years away is sobering enough that I have to quit writing now and recover emotionally.