Monday, August 4, 2008

Who gave them permission?

Many of you might relate to what we're living with over here this week. You may have been on my end of the emotions already, or you may have been on my children's emotions in your set of life experiences. Either way, I wish to send you hugs. Lots of them. Hugs that will last forever.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm proud of them all. It's fun to see them grown into adults and learn to pay their bills, take their exams, figure out car insurance..etc...learn why Mom and Dad didn't buy them all the fancy labels they wanted in high school, learn the 'budget' word. But....well,...

It's been awhile since my oldest daughter moved to college. That would have been back in the fall of 1999. She and I both struggled with our good-byes. To take the stress off of the emotional toll, I pulled the car over along the roadside, and had her get out next to the UCLA road sign and snapped the picture. To say that she was not 'amused' the first time, would be a gross understatement. However, by the time graduation arrived, she'd learned to embrace Mom's camera-obsession with the idea that the faster she cooperated, the faster it was over with. And I was able to finally get a shot of her like this:

Well, this Thursday, we're loading up the car yet again. Only this time, she's not going up the road a short 41 miles. The packing cube will have already been picked up, and we're taking a major road trip across the country. From Southern California via Austin, TX, then Michigan...finally to Syracuse, NY as she's decided to return to academia and earn her master's degree.

Now, I KNOW that I have 4 kids. I KNOW the other three have moved out, two of them now to Boston. I KNOW she'd moved out already, but then she'd moved home. And while I was helping the others to pack and move and went to visit and cook and leave them with the dishes (oh bad mommy...bad mommy...) she was still the one left at home these past 10 months to spend time with over Bridezillas, The Bachelor, and food Network TV.

So, here we begin on our adventure. To send her off, or is it really to get my head wrapped around the idea that they've all been sent off into adulthood, which I think is a much more accurate description here, we held a few family rituals over the weekend. First was our weekend bagel/doughnut breakfast. Yummy, she's been bringing me a toasted blueberry bagels with blueberry cream cheese as we sit and visit, sometimes accompanied by a charming young man who prefers doughnuts. Well, doughnut holes in particular.

Then it was off to her Dad's house for a family BBQ where we got to meet the middle daughter's new Prince Charming and she cooked for us. Yes, the formerly 'refuse to ever be domesticated' daughter has learned her way around the kitchen quite well. I must say.

By the time we ate, everyone had cooked something (and that's a good thing about adult children, right? I don't have to do it all myself anymore?)

We caught up on family news, we 'chewed the fat' so to say, we teased, we hugged and then we had the younger Prince make some Rice Krispy Treats for his oldest sister. Where we've all discovered, apparently it's much more fun to cook with your hands, than it is to eat most of the things he makes. At least that's his theory. But then, he's 6. And he's allowed to have such thoughts.

By the end of the day, oldest brother had made his trek across the country safe and sound and was now at his new address in the northeast. Baby daughter was with her co-workers at an event for work...and the rest of us were all together at least in spirit.

So what did I do when I came home? Well, it did dawn on me, that she is moving to snow country, and maybe it might be a good time to get her 2 scarves and a hat finished that she's going to need and asked me to make a couple of years ago. (told you my to-do list was really long) So, I dug out the first scarf yarn, and got to work.

Here's where I left it when I went to bed late last night. I'll show you the oh - so - simple pattern when it's all finished.

This morning it dawned on me, that since they're now all officially moving out into the adult world, I guess it was time to clear out the 'baby bikes' that had been outgrown for quite some time. They lasted at the curb about 7 minutes before someone came by asking if they could have them. WHOOSH! just like that, and they were snapped up and gone!

And I thought the kids had grown up oh so fast! But just tell me, who gave them permission to grow up this fast? In the blink of an eye..... I'm off to help her pack some more boxes. I hope she's got tissues available. We're going to need them all over again, like it's 1999.