The dog is pressed up against her door. I’m not sure if he wants to go sleep on her bed or root through the garbage she’s left in her quickly departing wake. Regardless, he’s not the only one who misses her.
Who is her? Well, she is my eldest. My firstborn. She who has 1 1/2 wings out of the nest and is ready to fly into the rest of her life. Almost. As long as the nest walks softly and carries a large cheque book. One large enough to pay for university tuition, books, residence, decor, and other sundry items that may or may not be necessary.
I find myself pining for her desperately even though she’s been gone for less than a week. I also find myself admiring the smaller piles of laundry, the ready availability of my car, and the dearth of dirty dishes in the sink.
I stare into her empty room; empty save for the huge mess she left in her wake. A mess that I’m afraid to mention the odd time I catch her during Frosh Week (or O-Week as it’s called now to remove the stigma of expectations of crazy, I’m assuming. Name change aside, I believe there definitely are parties and dancing and booze.) Why am I wary of informing her that she’ll have to clean her disaster up when she visits? Because I’m worried that she won’t visit if I make her presence unpleasant. But, I’m also worried that she will come and depart leaving an even larger disaster in her wake.
I’m so torn. I’m not sure if I like the fact that I have a child (really an adult) who is in University. I’m not sure that I can get used to her not being around every day, even if she mostly stayed locked in her room sleeping or on her macbook. I actually miss waking her up for school-over and over and over. I miss having the right to ask her personal details because you live in my house and you’re a child. I miss dropping her off at high school and watching her be greeted by a crowd, and receiving emails from her teachers or that dreaded ‘A child in your home has missed one or more periods of class today‘ automated phone call.
I’m a bad mother because I have disloyal feelings about her absence. I’m a good mother because I want her to come home. I’m a bad mother because I didn’t really want her to go. I’m a good mother because I want her to be independent and enjoy her experience away from home.
I’m full of dichotomy and indecision. Do I or don’t I like the situation? I’m torn. Will a Pros and Cons list help me understand my emotions better?
Pros of my daughter going away to university and leaving me, her mother, to despair
- I can drive my car whenever I want
- My car isn’t full of Tim Horton’s Wrappers
- There is less laundry (Who uses that many towels?)
- My clothes and shoes don’t mysteriously disappear
- I don’t have to nag her to get up for school, or lecture her when she misses class
- There are fewer shoes at the front door
- She gets to have an amazing adventure
- I don’t have to worry when she’s out with my car at night
- Her school is 1 hour away, so I can enjoy a nice day trip now and again
Cons of my daughter going away to university and leaving me, her mother, to despair
- She’s gone.
- It’s hard to get ahold of her. I don’t know what she’s doing or where she’s going or who she’s talking to
- Sometimes I don’t feel like going out and her having my car is a good excuse
- On occasion those leftovers from Tim Horton’s definitely came in handy on busy, hungry days. No her, no leftovers
- I can’t easily lay on her bed and bug her
- I worry and wonder all day and all night where she is and what she’s doing
- I don’t know when she’s not going to school
- I can’t take care of her if she’s sick
- She’s not here.
- Residence fees are putting a cramp in my shopping habits
- When I go into her room to bug her, it’s empty
- It’s evidence that life is moving too quickly