I thought I was ready. I've always been ready. For the first step. For the first day of kindergarten. For high school graduation. All those firsts you envision for your child, I was ready and cheering the girls on to success.
Yeah, I was the mom whose child crawled into the nursery like she owned it (she actually thought she did; it was the church nursery and she called it "my school"). I was the mom proudly watching my daughter walk into kindergarten while the mom next to me sobbed. I turned to the poor woman and said, "They're okay, let's go grab the donuts." (The school was kind enough to offer breakfast and reassurances for grieving parental units.)
There was something exciting about watching the girls move forward in life, meeting goals (required and desired), figuring out who they are and what they want to do. Sure there were things that could have gone better, mistakes were made. We got through and learned from each experience. I couldn't wait to see what was next.
I will admit to not being ready for the hardest part: letting go.
Friday morning, Myrtle the eldest, with a car stuffed the rafters, left for Georgia to follow her dreams. Georgia. As in a long freaking way away from Texas. Sure I sent the girls on mission trips, choir tours, band trips, and let them travel God's green earth with family and friends. In fact, both girls have been places I have never been and don't expect to see in my lifetime. That was my plan: allow the girls to think of the world as their backyard. For some reason in my preparations for my children growing up, I never really considered them LEAVING Texas. The backyard is a great place to visit, but I don't want my kids to live there.
I guess this is payback for my lack of sympathy for the kindergarten mom.
Myrtle says she'll be back. Eventually. But it will be different. She'll be married and working as a nurse by then, maybe even have a baby or two, and Myrtle the Younger will be moving on with her life. That's hard to think about right now.
I'll get there. Eventually.