I’ve been very calm about my youngest daughter going to college in September and the opportunities this will afford each of us. I’ve been looking forward to having more time to work on my writing and clothing line and passing the baton to Oregon State University to continue to shape her into the woman she will become while ensuring she is fed and safe like she has always been under my roof.
The other morning I had to drive her to school. I don’t normally drive her to school, so while driving it occurred to me that this might be the last time I ever drive her to school, then I thought this is likely the last time I will drive anyone to school. For those of you with teenage daughters this might sound like heaven, and there are many mornings that I have chosen to wipe from memory, but as I said these words to my daughter, it hit home that this is truly an end of an era.
With tears in my eyes I hugged her goodbye. She looked at me and asked, “Why are you crying?” Since the bell was about to ring I didn’t have time to explain, and even if we had had two weeks to do it I don’t think she could ever have understood.
Often, I think about her as I go through my day. I have a very specific memory of her as a baby that I replay in my mind. At the time I was the Preschool Fair Chair for the The Lamorinda Moms Club. I was having a meeting with my committee while holding my baby in my arms, not an unusual thing at the time for any of us. She had fallen sound asleep as babies do. There are moments of motherhood that are marked for their simple beauty and ordinariness. I was sitting in my dining room, the walls were painted a deep pink back then, and I remember the weight of her and how I marveled at how heavy and warm she was. Sometimes, I think how wonderful it would be to have my baby back in my arms for just one more day and how we often take for granted the most precious moments of our lives because we do not understand how meaningful they are.
My daughter looked at me and smiled as she waved goodbye. I drove home thinking about this and how she will never be this age again, with her torn jeans and heavy backpack heading into school for her last few weeks of high school. Now, this memory will stand like a bookend to the first.
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. A day to reflect on how grateful I am to have had the experience to love and be loved so unconditionally.
Love and blessings to all.