From the time they take their first step, we start to worry about them growing up and leaving someday. And as much as we try to love and protect them, we know that they will eventually make that step out the door towards their new life.
When that day came for me, I was horrified. My baby girl was leaving home for the first time. I couldn’t hug or kiss her to say goodnight. I wouldn’t get to see what she was wearing the next morning before she left the house. She was only 15 minutes away, but it seemed like an ocean grew between us overnight.
A week and a half later, she was moving back home. I was relieved and concerned all at once. Yes, she was back under my wing….and it was very hard to let her go in the first place. But how hard was it going to be to have her leave the nest and stay out?
A few months later she was planning on flying again. This time getting her own place, more independence….more freedom….more responsibility. We had just celebrated her 20th birthday and were moving her furniture the next day. This seemed much more permanent. Last time she took her clothes and her TV. This time, she took her dishes, her bed, her everything.
Just three months later, she was back home again. This time it was for good reason, her landlord was exhibiting inappropriate behaviour. She and her roommate were being put into dangerous situations. We needed to bring her home this time. And we were happy to do it!
She did seem different this time. No longer a child. She would wash the dishes and clean up without being asked. She got along better with everyone in the house, even her younger brother. She hugged me more and seemed to enjoy spending time with us. It occurred to me that being on her own, even for a short time, helped her to appreciate her ‘home’ and her family.
It made me feel great. She started looking for jobs & a place to live. Each time she thought she had found the perfect one, it would fall through. Being her Mom, I was feeling so many emotions. I wanted her to venture out and achieve her dreams. But I didn’t want her to go too far. I knew when she finally did leave for good, it was going to hurt. My heart already ached for the little girl that would sit on my lap & giggle while I read to her.
But I thought at least she wouldn’t be far away. She was looking in the towns close by for an apartment. And a job. As the weeks passed, I think panic set in as she began to think she would never leave Mama’s nest. She needed to get out, she needed to have an adventure. And I had to let her.
I smiled and I hugged her…and I helped her pack her things. She was going two provinces away to stay with her Grandfather. During her stay there, I worried about her more than any other time in her life. Why? Because she still couldn’t find work or a place to live….but I wasn’t there. I couldn’t touch my finger to the end of her nose and make her smile. I couldn’t give her a hug when I knew she needed it.
But we did have Skype. An online program that allows you to see someone that you’re talking to that is far away. But as I told her one evening after we said ‘goodnight’…I found it extremely hard to say goodbye to her. It was very hard to see her, but not be able to see her. Does that make sense?
Then came the day she told me that she was hired as a nanny. This is her dream position. She was so excited. And I for her.
But this isn’t just a job. She’s living with this family. These people that I don’t know. And she’s moved an entire other province away. I didn’t think I would be able to handle that.
But when she contacts me and I hear how happy she is, it makes my heart smile. My little girl has grown up. She’s found her adventure. And I am so proud of her for being brave enough to make this move.
I know she’s going to be great at this ‘job’. Because to be a good nanny, you only need a sense of humour and a huge heart. And my daughter has both of them.
I love you, Sweetie.
And yes, I miss you. xo