It’s going to happen. Everyone thinks it will finally come down, it’ll finally snow.
Oh, I hope my #1 daughter’s university cancels classes. Because at the end of her busy break, I just need a break. I need one more day with her. One more day to hold her close and never let go. One more day to put the phone down, put the TV remote down. One more day to focus on my true loves.
“Mommy …!” she shouts, running to me.
Lo and behold, her university canceled classes. I jump for joy and clap my hands. I get one more day with her, with absolutely nothing demanding of us.
And after a little so-called dusting of snow, or ice, commences–beautiful, pure change over the horizon–#2 brings me her writing assignment, asking me to look at it. Taking the treasured pages in my hands, I read:
Ever since I was little, I always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. I even wanted to be an animal myself for years, because I thought they were so cool.
I laugh out loud. She goes on to explain how she had wanted to be a vet, but seeing an animal surgery made her weak, nauseated, pale. A change of plans. She had to sit down, in another area. The vet’s cat came over and loved on her. The doctor gave her a chance to rest, regain her composure, and she returned to the surgery room. But at the sight of surgery, she continues to say–
I started slumping down the wall I was leaning against.
I returned to the chair with the cat.
I laugh again. Yes, my daughter wrote those words. The words that would begin her very first college English paper.
Did you get that? Her first college paper. My baby. Because while I was wishing for one more day with my #1, I had no idea that two days later I’d step foot out without #2. Both my babies are in college. Both. #2 hasn’t even seen the end of her senior year yet. I kick the ground. I know this isn’t anything new for most, but as a home-school mom, I’d anticipated a few more months with my #2 before she started college. Like next fall. But the door flew wide open, and somehow we tumbled right in.
Hugs and “mmmmm … smack.” I watch them head out the garage door. They’re weighed down with full backpacks. Their first day together without me. Because the first two days, I trailed along. I did. I had lunch with them and everything. It was glorious. But that’s it. No more. I’ve got to grow up, too.
Shivering, I slump against my car, leaving my imprint in the dust and watching them get situated in the car.
Words from yesteryear peek over my shoulder–
“Why does she pucker her lips like that?” he asked. “Monkey kisses.” He laughed.
“I don’t know,” I said.
I turned to my daughter. “Goodnight, baby. Give me kisses.” I leaned in. I puckered. She puckered. Big puckers. “mmmmm … smack!”
Realization dawned and laughter tumbled out of me, causing me to collapse onto the bed beside her. It’s me. All me. I taught her that. I taught her the big pucker. The cutest monkey kisses.
Oh my goodness. The things I’ve taught them. The things I haven’t. Have I taught them enough? Have I left the right impressions on their lives, on their hearts? Will they be okay? Will I be okay?
The car inches forward, not waiting for the answer. All routine for #1. And now routine for #2. Could you just wait till I figure out the answer? Till I figure out this whole thing? The car stops, and they wave and blow kisses. The car can’t proceed without kisses. The sweetest monkey kind. I return it all, with all my heart and some. Onto the hand and thrown across the air, like my grandmother taught me. To #1 and now #2. I catch mine and they catch theirs. We prolong the waves and kisses for just a little longer, ensuring we see each other. Not wanting to miss a single thing. Like we could.
The car accelerates down the driveway, leaves kicking up behind it, and proceeds down our Texas county road. When they are out of sight, I push the button and shut the garage–the full weight bearing down and crashing to the ground–as a chapter in our lives unexpectedly ends and another beautifully begins.
I go sit with the cats.
What chapters are ending or beginning in your life? May I pray for you?