This year is
a time of new beginnings.
Our daughter got on the plane to college, curled up against the window and went to sleep.
Across the aisle a woman was traveling with her 7 month old daughter. I thought, “please don’t fuss the whole flight.” I thought this for myself, my child and the mother! I was so tired and I tried to sleep but I was incapable. Later on I chatted with the flight attendant and looked back at my sleeping child and the baby across the aisle and fought back tears.
Here I was and it only seemed a blink of an eye from the beginning to now. I can still feel her head on my shoulder and her breath against my neck.
When she was a newborn I had friends who loved newborns, loved to cuddle and play with little ones. I enjoyed my time with her but honestly I couldn’t wait until she and, in turn, her little sister started to talk. I knew it was a good thing too as they would be participating and chatty people for a lot longer than they would be newborns. They are terrific kids with fascinating ideas and sometimes I wish they weren’t quite so good at arguing a point.
A part of me is so excited about the future, for her, for her sister, for us.
The other part is wanting to start all over with the knowledge I have now. I remember all the days I was so grateful when bedtime came around as I was worn out. The first few years it is a physical exhaustion, then a mental exhaustion and then an emotional one. I was lucky. I got to be in the house, home and available and, even if they didn’t want me or need me, they knew I was there.
Then I got cancer.
When I have my hard times I am angry at how much I missed, but when I stop and think about it–I was there.
I worked like the devil to be there. We planned my treatment for when they were at school and I was again lucky. I lived to be here now with one starting college and the other starting high school.
I still remember the nights though, when I would be in bed, feeling lousy and I could hear them out in the kitchen talking to their dad.
The laughing I heard. That was when I was lonely. I missed being a part of that, but those days didn’t last long. My goal was to show them how to get through something that seems impossible. I wanted to teach them to find humor and joy when and where they can even if that too seems impossible. I discovered the lesson was learned as I watched our oldest persevere through a car accident concussion junior year to graduate on time and get into the college of her choice accepted to the major of her choice. She is phenomenal.
Here she goes off to college and she too stands between her present and her new beginning.