Freshman Year Ends


I feel bone weary and sweaty. My mind alternately races and rests, and I catch it and make it lay still.

Caroline is done with her freshman year of school. These years wear the face of a clock.

My hands are sticky and I don’t know what comes next. Abigail Thomas’ book title runs through me in a bodily way: “What Comes Next and How to Like It.”

Maybe it’s hard having the mom who is always around, driving your friends to and fro everywhere. Maybe it’s hard to be the mom who likes parenting too much even though it’s the hardest thing ever.

I’m tired. Last night I joked and said to my husband that we should have another baby. I don’t want another baby. I hold tight to the baby I have, the baby I see every time I take a slow second to drink in my 15-year-old daughter. I continue to make up nicknames for her, loving the surprise as people not in our family overhear my secret names for her. I love you, I love you, I love you, I say. Let me count the ways with all of these luscious secret names.

I hold onto the words because my baby already knows how to fly. I tether myself to the nest for her returns. I am pathetic and poetic. I am tired.

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