My daughter has her fifteenth birthday coming up. To me this feels like a big deal. She doesn’t think so. She can’t wait to grow up and leave all of this behind. I remember the feeling of being a young lady (girl, what’s the word now??) I couldn’t wait to leave the farm. I’m sure she can’t either.
When my boy turned 15, it didn’t seem the same. His 15th didn’t seem like such a big deal. But now that it’s the girl, it feels different. Maybe because I had another kid coming up through the ranks. Maybe because he was the boy? I’m not sure.
When the boy turned 16, he got his licence right away. We had planned for it. We had a vehicle for him to drive. I brought him home from getting his licence. He climbed out of my car and into his and drove down the laneway. And I was standing there watching the taillights leave and feeling odd. It was an instant separation for me and a liberation for him. I remember the first time I drove out of the yard with my licence, screaming the whole way. (Right D.C.) I was picturing that feeling for him and I wasn’t sure I was ready for it. You see, he was, I wasn’t.
But when I see the girl at 15, I see her pulling out of the yard at 16. It feels weird. Like I may be trying to put spilled milk back in the glass. Like I have been doing it for years but just didn’t know I was. Because when she drives out of the yard, I won’t have another child to turn to. It will just be me and him. And he’s pretty entertaining but I don’t know if he is THAT entertaining.
I have spent a lot of years getting my kids ready to leave my house. They have done their own laundry for years, do the dishes every night, have chores they need to complete. I have taught them to time manage, how to be someone else’s spouse, and how to be confident in them selves. It has only begun to dawn on me that time is drawing near. I did a lot of talking that I am now having to face head on.
I stopped doing some things when I was busy and I didn’t think the kids would care. One was wrapping the kids birthday gifts. I bought them stuff, put it in a gift bag if I remembered but usually, and I am kind of ashamed to say, left it in the bag I bought it in, took off the tags, rolled it up and gave it to them. I didn’t realize what I was taking away from me. I missed the memories of them tearing open birthday gifts. They don’t think they missed anything, but I did. I missed the moments of wrapping the gifts, preparing them for them, picturing them opening them thrilled, I missed that. And I am not going to take those moments away from myself anymore. Those little moments were my whole life with them. And the moments were only a few more moments I could work. And now I am regretting those choices. And I am not going to make the wrong one anymore.