Ok so today it hit me. Today I can’t stop crying. Every folded piece of wash, every messy corner of my daughter’s room, every silly shoe, or discarded lacy bra makes me cry. I am going to miss her so terribly and all for a very good reason.
She leaves tomorrow for two years in Europe to participate in a brilliant new program in urban studies called The Four Cities. Six months each in Brussels, Vienna, Copenhagen, and Madrid. A full scholarship, the sweetest sweetheart ever who is back in Berlin from his Fulbright year here in NYC. All good, nay great things. I am excited. I am excited for her, excited for me and for all of it and yet.
I am awash here. I am flooding the keyboard, I am diluting the black coffee and wetting the kitten I am intent upon petting. I am a mess of nerves and laundry spinning in the drier. I am the recipient of all I pray for and then I am the victim of those very prayers.
In short, and in long I am a mess
My daughter is my touchstone and we need to be extracted from each other’s pockets. We need to remember that connection has nothing to do with proximity and everything to do with energy, love and belief. I know all of this, I write it, and I remind others. But like my tears in the therapist’s office two days ago where I wailed, Who will make me the priority to help and nurture the way I do so many others? Often, too often I fall back on her.
We fight. There is no one in my life with whom I have had such vile, virulent arguments that my own daughter. We know where all the soft tissue is and we fight. We are alike and we fight. We are different and we fight. We are both terminally verbal and we spar and banter and it can draw blood. We have learned to apologize well and swiftly. And I hope we have learned to carry to the lessons to the next moment, the next relationship. We try things out on each other; from how does this look, smell, or taste, to how does this make you feel?
We are different. She is impossible tiny; I am not. Her eyes, we say are the sea, mine the sky; both obviously so blue. We read, we write. She makes money, or did until she decided to go to grad school. I am a flounder right now. I am giving her a party tonight, a little cocktail party. For us, in this big barn of a loft where she first came home, grew up and now leaves, a little party can be a 50 or so folk. It truly is just a funky floor of a warehouse from 1840 when they built things big and sturdy.
And to transition from being such a hands on mom to seeing if I can find more me, is going to be a huge task. And so as I zoom toward 60, I am assembling what I am calling Team Wicki. A group of focusers, for want of a different term: exercise, dentistry, therapy, and career coach. Most of them are from within the circle of folks with whom I barter or exchange services so this does not require an infusion of cash right as I am feeling low in the bucks bucket.
But it is exciting from a serendipity stand point that my daughter moves to Europe for grad school, my son graduates college and will move maybe seamlessly into his sister’s super inexpensive Harlem apartment and I may just have no excuse but to write my book, refind fitness and a kind of calm, which has eluded me do to a constant caretaking.
All of this and learning poetry to boot.