I dropped my firstborn daughter at University this weekend. To say it was surreal is an understatement.
The entire first day I could not stop telling her how excited I was for her. I had butterflies and that feeling you get when you are sitting on the edge of the future. Or that feeling you get when you watch beautiful college boys playing contact sports on a fabulous field in the sunshine. Ooops, I keep forgetting. I am the mom.
Please understand the loss of her at home is – well- devastating is too sorrowful a word for a change that is so postive- but try to imagine living with pure happiness and kindness and then they leave the building. She has inhabited the daily texture of my life for 17 1/2 years like pure sunshine and now her purple room is empty.
I have tried to raise my children to not look to the next shiny moment when the one in front of them is so spectacular. The only real problem with that is we frequently aren’t ready for the emotions that accompany change. Many times we are bulldozed by it when we catch up to the present moment.
She pulled me aside and said “Momma, I am not ready”
We are on the street now in front of the restaurant. She has pulled me from our 25 friends inside. We are hugging and emotional. I don’t cry at all so that she can. I am strangely strong. As much as I fail if someone is in physical pain- you slam your finger in the door and I am not the best girl to look at it or mend it- emotional pain is where I can help. I never run from this opportunity.
I told her any big thing I have ever done in my life I was never ready for completely. When I moved to France, got a full time job, when I married, got a mortgage, when my first child was born, first started running art camps, when I separated, divorced, dated, embarked on a renovation, started writing about any of it, there were always many people – maybe me included- ready to tell me I was not ready or that I could not do it.
Being ready is overrated.
I told her that in every way she has surpassed who I hoped she would be. That she has everything she needs to do whatever she wants in this world. And so many good people on her side.
If the hill you are skiing down is too scary, take it one mogul at a time. And life, one day at a time. That, you are ready for.
And if you give it your best shot and it doesn’t work out- you come home and you do something else. I am not attached to any plan. I am attached to you.
And we all went out for gelato.