Last night I spent time researching colleges with my 16 year-old daughter. She commented that she’s anxious to figure out which colleges she wants to apply to and get it done. She can’t wait for college.
She’s ready to take the next step in her life.
I’m just not sure I am.
Recently, we were with some friends and I was reminiscing about something cute she had done and her comment – with the requisite eye-roll – was “Mom, I was..like.. 12!” To me it feels like yesterday.
I wish I had every minute of her life on video so I could look back. Trying to capture moments on my phone has never been my thing however. I don’t want to put something between me and living the experience but now I think back and I’m sad because there are so many moments I can’t remember.
Probably one of the reasons for my memory lapses is the stress I was under. When she was young I was going through some major drama –a divorce, major financial problems, my current husband was diagnosed with MS and my dad was disappearing into Alzheimers. I had a lot on my plate and it was difficult not to simply be in survival mode. I try to live without regrets but I wish I had been better able to put those feelings aside and focus on the good stuff. To breathe in every scent, feel every touch, view every smile and hear every laugh.
At the same time that I’m trying to capture every moment with my older daughter, I want to also be present for my younger daughter. It’s a tightrope walk, especially for someone who was an only child and had my parent’s sole attention.
There are so many “firsts” and “lasts” coming my way it’s sometimes overwhelming. But I know I need to embrace them and let life play itself out.
I think back to when I moved to Los Angeles when I was 22 and wonder how my mom let me go. I had no idea how hard that must have been. When I asked her about it recently she simply said that she knew it was the right thing to do.
So, like her I’ll let her go when I need to and accept that it’s a new chapter in both our lives.