I haven’t figured out how to breathe into this newness. I thought I had planned for this reality: my teen gone on and off for most of 4 weeks. I mean, you can plan for loss, right?
The ache in my chest feels as real as my daughter’s empty room.
I thought if I planned enough fun together time for before she left, I’d be absolutely fine.
Fine enough, I guess, to be more-than-frustrated when my husband doesn’t quite get this physical ache in my chest.
Fine enough to need to weep and write my way through it.
Fine enough to feel a jarring hurt when my teen is home and she accurately and succinctly describes my habits. She says, “My mom has too high expectations. Then she’s disappointed.”
Ding. Zap. Ouch. I expected to sit in the quieter house and be glad it was cleaner without Caroline here. Well, sometimes I am glad for that fact. But yet and still, I’m feeling this physical ache and describing it in words in hopes of alleviating it a bit. Because the fact is denying it doesn’t make it better. Letting it out into the room and breathing alongside it feels as right as it’s going to feel.
It may feel ridiculous and overwrought to type out that I really feel the fact that life is often about loss. Loss even when we see the gain: My Caroline is gaining leadership skills at camp and having a super fantastic experience of a lifetime. I know working at a camp changed me for the better and I thank my lucky stars all the time that my mom let me spend almost an entire summer away from home.
But now I know a bit more about what her summer is like. Sigh. Growing up never ends and heartbreak is along for this lifetime ride. Whoosh. Just saying these things out loud makes it feel easier. Time to ride on.