I’m not even sure if I’m going to post this, but I have tears streaming down my face, and that is usually a good time to start writing.
I am the mother of very fine daughters and now they are grown.
Meredith’s band/chorus concert was lovely. I sat with friends which made it extra nice. They had a son up there too, and we’ve watched these kids grow up together. What we weren’t expecting came at the end of the concert (which, for the record, lasted nearly two and a half hours). They filmed all the senior musicians being goofy a couple of days ago. The filming was done on the front lawn of the high school. They played the video for the audience on a giant screen. Basically, it was four minutes and four seconds of the kids waving good-bye. The chorus sang through the whole thing.
Ripped me right up. I cried, and fought to keep it only at crying. What I wanted to do was to burst into hulking sobs.
So I came home, more or less putting it together in the car. Shortly after I got in, the phone rang. The call was from my oldest, Steph, at the U2 concert in the Meadowlands. She called and held up her phone so I could hear the band play “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, because she knows I like that stuff.
That did it. I’ve been blubbering for half an hour. I can only now begin to see the screen.
Why is all of this affecting me so powerfully? I was not like this when Steph graduated two years ago. I think it has everything to do with Mer being my “youngest”. (Yes, I have a stepson in 7th grade, but that is a shared custody situation, and I wasn’t there he was small. But you think I’m bad now? I shudder to think what I’ll be like when he’s ready to go. ) These two girls were the babies I carried inside me, the babies I nursed. I’ve watched them from the beginning. I was a young mother (23 when the first one was born) and I made more than my share of mistakes, trust me. That they have turned out as well as they have is testimony to the resilience of the human spirit.
This feeling has something to do with watching them be both vulnerable and strong at the same time. I know what an awful, scary, hideous place the world can be. And I know that to realize their purpose, they have to go out there and take their place among those who fight for the betterment of all. Both girls have been through hard struggles, and they have emerged women; women I am proud to know.
So my job is done. Or it’s changing, drastically. You never stop being a parent. But the heavy lifting is done. It feels like we’re walking down a one-way street. I’m pretty sure that the adventure at the end of the block will be a blast, but right now I’m bittersweet about leaving.
But then again, I’m not. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Meredith is ready. She has earned those wings she’s so busy flapping.
OK, enough drama. If you’re still reading this, thanks for sticking around. Next time I bitch about a certain high school senior having a flat tire or a speeding ticket, remind me of this post. Oh, and a warning. Mer’s prom is Friday night. I might need medication to get through the weekend.
I going to chat with God now and give thanks for this amazing life.