As I was texting my friend and realtor today, we remarked on the sadness of saying goodbye to another of my mother’s things...this time her house. We talked about the glad/sad of it all. He remembers spending time talking to her before she put the house on the market shortly before she died. I remember sitting at her table watching the birds and enjoying the late afternoon light and her excellent company.
I can’t keep another aging house functioning while I frequently ask Jeremy questions like “What’s that gushing sound?” and “Is that sunlight I see through that wall?”. I am glad another family will enjoy the quiet and sweetness of my mother’s little house, even if I know they are going to change everything and make it their own. As I made cuttings today of the three plants she loved from her house -- her figs, her camelia, and her gardenia -- I looked around and felt relieved that I would not have to hassle anymore with the house. But the loss of another place where she was and where I could still feel her presence, is rough.
This really is the season of glad/sad. Yesterday my kid ended her soccer season with a great coach and a fantastic group of girls. And she sobbed and sobbed on the way home. Today she is decidedly glum. These girls have been her sisters this year. And some she will hardly see as time passes.
For my part, I find it isn’t easy to find sideline pals who you truly enjoy and don’t feel simply obligated to be nice to. Our group this year was fun and I even found a few who I could whisper to about politics. And there was not one parent who was consistently “that parent”, who made you text each other on the sideline going “OMG”. I don’t have time for friends who I don’t work with generally. Precious down time is mostly spent with family. So these sideline parents have an important role for me. Each time we shuffle up teams I wonder if this is the last year I’ll find myself comfortable with the parents around me.
This year probably marks the end of my being a truly active part of my kid’s soccer. She will head off to a team where less parent participation is required or even encouraged. Aside from what will undoubtedly be long hours to practice and back, I may not get as many chances to have nice dinners together alone like I did the other night, talking about how we handled stress and some advice on what we could improve on. And just getting quiet time to laugh and hang out while we enjoyed hotel life.
Of course, there is the looming saddest glad of all. My eldest will be choosing colleges and leaving for one before too long. I will be so proud and so sad not to see her every day. I am not worried about her doing fine, because she will. I am not worried about her making friends, because she will. I am not worried about her smarts or her humor or her responsibility. I am worried about what I will do without the few moments these days when i get to mother her and even get to chat.
But this is how it goes. And would I be happier if I woke up and looked around 10 years from now and she was still at home in her room? I doubt it. Our job as parents is to work all the time to foster our kids leaving us and going out on their own. Kind of. My mom and me, and her mom and her, and my cousins and their moms, have maintained a kind of close/not closeness I hope I can replicate with my daughter. As best I can name it, all the mothers in my family have remained very active in their children’s lives while also encouraging those kids to do what makes them happy. And all I can do is hope and pray I get the same chance with my daughter. I think I’ll manage not talking to her every day, but more than a few days and I will get antsy. I just hope she will feel the same way about me.