A piece of my heart got out of the car and told me goodbye at 4:54…

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The time was 4:54 as I backed out of the driveway. I will never forget the moments and days leading up to the time.

A piece of my heart got out of the car and told me goodbye at 4:54.

About a half an hour earlier, she had finished packing up the car. She had one suitcase and a duffel bag. She had multiple boxes that were to be shipped out later. She came and told me she was ready to go. As I got into the car, she said, “Mom, don’t cry” I never responded. I couldn’t.

As I pulled in the driveway where she wanted me to drop her off, I put the car in park and pulled out the plastic baggy I had stashed in my purse while she was loading the car.  I had kept that baggy in my jewelry box for many years. It contained the diamond earrings from her great-grandmother who had passed away many years ago. I leaned over and put them in her ears one by one, telling her always to check the backs to make sure they are tight, not to take them out unless she gets a second hole and move them there, and never, ever sell or lose them.

I then handed her $100 and said, “If you ever get into a bind, you call me.”

She responded, “I will call you anyways Mom”.

She reached across the seat towards me. I grabbed onto her and lost it.

This surreal moment was happening. She was leaving early in the morning on a plane out to L.A. She was flying across the country.  She was going to a place I did not agree with and staying with people I am unsure of. She was going against my wishes. She was leaving school. She was leaving everything behind her. I felt like she was walking into the lion’s den and it scared the shit out of me.

She too lost it and she cried, “Thank you Mom. Thank you for everything. I know you still believe in me and that’s the only thing that keeps me going. Just thank you Mom. I love you more than anything.”

My heart broke in a million pieces in that moment. I wanted to scream at her. I wanted to lock her up in her room. I wanted her to finish high school. I wanted my little girl back.

I did not scream at her. I held her tighter in that moment that I had her. I was the last to let go. I knew from the first day she told me what this was going to be and how it would play out.

She told me a few months ago that she was leaving home when she turned 18.

Originally, I told her over my dead body. I certainly wasn’t going to make it easy for her. But in my heart, I knew what she knew. She was going to leave and I couldn’t stop her. I had to let go. And I couldn’t burn the bridge with her, nor did I want to.

No, I absolutely do not agree with her choice in her life right now. Out of everyone, she knows this best, and she knows why. But she also knows that no matter what I will always believe in her. I will always love her. And I will always expect great things from her. I expect her to dig deep. I expect her to remember her roots and all the lessons I taught her. I expect her to make it. I expect her to ask for help if she needs it along the way.

And I also hope that she finds what she is desperately searching for. I had a million dreams for her, but perhaps those dreams were mine. I still don’t totally understand all why she needs to do this. Perhaps there is a part of her that needs to understand herself and what she’s made of. She told me she feels “stuck” here in this small town.  And honestly, there is a piece of me that understands that feeling. I too have felt that before at a time in my life.

I hope she learns herself as she needs to. I hope that God will keep his hand upon her. I hope that she will one day return, wiser, still thankful, and with growth.

I hope she receives grace along the way and can fully recognize and appreciate it.

And more than anything, I hope she gets what she needs when she needs it.

© LifeasChristine, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to LifeasChristine with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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This is what motherhood looks like…

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Nothing quite prepares you for motherhood. Sure you may envision the perfect moments and perfect children. You may think you will always have all the answers and parent with no regrets… but then kids happen.

I became a mother early on.

They told me I could not have children – Boy, were they wrong!

By the time I was 26, I had four children under the age of 5. When I was 30, one more was added to the clan.

This is what motherhood looks like:

Motherhood is having a 3 hour conversation on the laundry room floor filled with tears of exasperation and desperation trying to make sense to a 15-year-old strong-willed child that wants to learn from their own mistakes.

Motherhood is getting a call from the school that your child is getting detention for three days because they pulled a chair out from behind a girl that they ‘liked’ and she fell on the floor.

Motherhood is getting another phone call from the school that your child was involved in a food fight and being told they are going to serve detention for it.

Motherhood is battling the school to advocate that the punishment meet the crime. What the heck good is detention? Do you really think they are going to reflect on throwing food? Make them clean the cafeteria!

Motherhood is getting another phone call from the school that your child left school and got stoned; so stoned that they came back to school and accidentally ratted everyone out.

Motherhood is finding out that your child hopped a train to the big city when they tried to run away from the small-town and everything that came with it.

Motherhood means not finding out things for days, weeks, months, years later.

Motherhood is honest talks. Talks you may not always like or be comfortable hearing.

Motherhood is finding your child peeing on flowers instead of the toilet and rolling with it. They are after all controlling their bladder… now let’s try that inside.

Motherhood is making a child watch Black Hawk Down so they realize war is more than video games.

Motherhood is knowing that no matter how good you are, you can never protect them from everything.

Motherhood is getting to know the people that matter to them. “What’s your story?”

Motherhood is rushing your three-old to the emergency room after their brother dared them to stick dog food up their nose.

Motherhood is apologizing to the emergency room receptionist because your teenager squeezes his split open knee to “talk” to the receptionist, fatty tissue and all.

Motherhood is racing in an ambulance 100 mph with a child with internal injuries and praying with them when they tell you they don’t want to die.

Motherhood includes the potential to be on a first name basis with the staff at the Emergency Room.

Motherhood is letting your children make their mistakes. You cannot stop them and it is going to happen. The best you can hope for is that they learn from their mistakes and that they have paid attention to your lessons.

Motherhood is learning to be flexible. The mall tree at Christmas doesn’t fly. (I learned this one late).

Motherhood is knowing when to loosen the reigns and knowing when to bring them back in.

Motherhood is knowing each child.

Motherhood is acute anxiety on many occasions. Know what is in your control and what is out of your control.

Motherhood means the dishes can wait.

Motherhood is making your child write a 3 page essay on what they are grateful for.

Motherhood is phone calls that they hit a deer, a tree, or landed in a ditch.

Motherhood is knowing that these are not mini-you’s – they are them.

Motherhood is having a child call you at 2 pm and ask “What’s for dinner?”

Motherhood is ups and downs. There are moments that you may threaten to put them in a box free to good home. There are moments that melt your heart.

I am glad that the doctors were wrong. I am glad I got one more. I have learned from them and they have learned from me. It is true that they can sap the life out of you on occasion, but just as easily they can breathe life back into you.

It’s not everything it’s cracked up to be…. It’s more.

© LifeasChristine, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to LifeasChristine with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.