Posted on March 7, 2010 - by Cate
“Thank you for taking care of me mommy” — those words caused a rush of emotion so hard and so fast I could barely choke out a response — “I love you sweetheart,” I whispered. “I love you too,” she replied quietly. I could tell she was feeling better — I knew the drill and knew exactly how she felt, when the pain went away — relief. But those words in her little voice got to me, straight away and recalled countless booboo’s and tears of frustration by my little one. Except my little one was 17 and recovering from a migraine. She squeezed my hand and I was holding my little girl again in my thoughts. It was all I could do to resist the temptation of crawling into bed with her and wrap my arms around her and hold her close. She was getting ready for her semester finals, and exhausted, found herself grappling with a headache. Cut from the same cloth – again, I knew the drill.
The anxiety I feel in these moments, after the rush of emotion, is overwhelming. It takes my breath away. I find myself praying to God to protect them both. I would sacrifice anything to keep them healthy and safe. Those tender moments make me want to keep them to myself and never let go. Letting go will be the hardest thing I ever do. I love them so. And these moments remind me the time is close at hand. Soon we’ll have to make college applications and go on campus visits. Trying to keep track of the youngling is becoming a sport — I have to put GPS on her. She’s making the most of high school and I find myself actually trying to keep up.
My youngest walks in and I don’t even bother to hide the tears. What’s wrong, she asked, what’s wrong. I just shake my head — can’t talk. She is relentless and won’t stop. I refuse to answer and change the subject. What am I going to say, I’m crying because you’re growing up? I miss my babies? I worry each and every day that you’ll be safe? I just keep typing and hope that ultimately she’ll be distracted.
I intend for you both to grow up, complete your college education, in careers that turn you on, find nice boys (nice, nice boys), have the wedding of your choosing (the one I never had — shameless, but at least I admit it; I’ll make sure your wishes are heard and if possible and within reason, honored), buy a house (scratch that) a home, give me grandchildren, don’t give up on your passions and stay true to yourself (keep exploring what that means), be good to each other and always give to others. Then just allow the rest to unfold (fade to blurry sunset). I’ve got it all planned out, preferably in the aforementioned order — now just accommodate me.