“I got asked to the prom,” Kelly said.
“Oh, that’s fantastic,” I said, not really meaning it.
Let me explain. I am excited Kelly has a date to her senior with a really nice guy who I’m sure she’s going to have a blast with. But…
Time is moving too fast. You see that, right? Just a second ago Kelly started kindergarten then graduated from elementary school. Middle school was the last time she really liked school. I swear it was only minutes ago Kelly started Valhalla. She hadn’t wanted to go to Valhalla. She’d wanted to go to high school where her best friend was going. I’d wanted her to go to Valhalla because it was Molly’s last year there and I wanted them to share it together.
Molly’s last year in high school was traumatic for me. I missed her even though she still lived under the same roof. But things were changing and I knew it. Time had not only snuck up on me but it had knocked me upside the head. Molly had gone from being a mama’s girl to a child-woman who was trying desperately to break away from me. I didn’t take too kindly to it. I wrote a memoir about this time hoping I’d find the answers to why I spent twelve months, three hundred and sixty-five days with a knot in my stomach. Why did tears come to my eyes every time I saw Molly? It was the longest goodbye ever.
Molly was my first love, and I felt abandoned by her even though she was doing what every healthy eighteen-year-old did. She grew up and moved away to college. The memoir helped me realize how over the top I was acting. So I made a promise to myself, and Kelly, I wouldn’t act like a jilted lover the way I had with Molly.
However, we are getting dangerously close to Kelly’s last school dance (senior prom), the last school event (senior night at Disneyland), and graduation. I can’t promise I won’t act like a weepy depressive. I can’t promise I will remember all those lessons I learned by letting go of Molly.
But for today on this Mother’s Day I promise to smile and be happy I have three wonderful and healthy kids. I promise not to cry in front of them because this is Kelly’s last Mother’s Day as a ”child” under my roof. I promise not to get moony over all the other Mother’s Day with homemade cards and a made up dances by Kelly for me.
Just for today…
What’s your promise? How have you coped with the emptying nest? Or time going too fast?