real life adventures

Guide books and forgotten socks

There are hand books, guides, text books and lesson plans for just about everything in life.  Heck, now a days you can just hop on YouTube and find instructional videos for just about any issues you may be experiencing.  Just the other day in fact, my vacuum was not sucking anything up.  This being my 3rd vacuum in 5 years, left me feeling very frustrated.  “Not again,” I thought as my youngest stated, “Well, we just have to buy another one!”  Absolutely not.  So with determination I started to look in various spots for what could be blocking the hose.  After a while I resolved to YouTube, and low and behold I found the exact spot to look for a blockage and what did I find?  One of my teenager’s no-show socks.  LOL! Will she ever pick up her stinking socks? No pun intended…lol

 

And that very sock got me thinking.  In a year and a half give or take, she will venture off to college.  We aren’t sure where yet, but she’s bound and determined to get out of dodge and has already pulled away more than I care to admit.  I say this because I know this is the stage in her life where she starts to pull away.  She wants to be with her friends, study after school at the library, go to clubs after school, and ultimately be anywhere but the confines of home.  I get that…I remember being in her shoes, signing up for the Air Force the summer BEFORE my senior year of high school because I was THAT ready to leave.  And I see myself in my baby’s eyes…she’s got a fire inside her and she’s ready for adventure.  With that I ask, where’s the hand book for letting go?

 

How on earth will I let this little girl go?  This little girl that saved my life in more ways than one.  This little girl that taught me more about myself, that made me grow up in to the woman I am today, that made me realize I DO deserve it all and that I would teach her the very same thing.  This little girl, now almost woman, that made me a Mom…I hope one day she sees how much I love her.  She doesn’t yet…but one day…

 

How will I be able to not see her every day, and how on earth do my own parents get through not seeing my sister and I every day?  I now understand the moments when I first joined the Air Force and seeing my Mother’s eyes fill with tears when it was time to say goodbye after a visit home.  I remember once scolding my Mom for staring at me when she came to visit when I was stationed in D.C. and I noticed her just staring at me smiling.  I remember how hurt she was when I did this, too, and wish I could take it back.  I wish I understood then what I do now, and that the relationship between a mother and her kids is priceless and precious and to not take it for granted.

 

But see, there are no hand books or YouTube videos when it comes to parenting, are there? Oh sure, those wonderful guides to pregnancy and raising children, but I think most of us can attest to the fact these books only are relevant in the perfect world, and sad to say that world doesn’t exist.  So now, while my teen brings home brochures and pamphlets for colleges with her eyes beaming, “Mom, let’s take a look at this one,” she exclaims, and I find myself having to plaster on the fake smile so she doesn’t see that I’m just not ready to let her go even though I am super excited for her future all that the same time.  “Sure honey, let’s take a look,” I say, just happy she’s including me with her choices. Because most days she hates the fact that I’m “holding her back” and not letting her go.

 

Today at work, it hit me like a freight train coming down the highway with no brakes.  In a year and a half, there won’t be any socks to pick up.  And that very thought makes pretty much every part of me ache inside.  But at the end of the day, we raise them up the best we can and then it’s time to send them off in the world to have their own adventures. No one said it would be easy, did they?  Where’s the hand book for letting go? Oh that’s right…there isn’t one.

 

So here’s to all the socks on the floor, and vacuums’ that get clogged.  May each one give you a memory that lasts a life time.  Because remember, the memories are the pages of the guidebook we never received.  And that, my friends, is what life is all about.

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20 thoughts on “Guide books and forgotten socks

  1. You know, I think my parents were as ready for me to leave as I was. I’m the baby. Which didn’t mean they didn’t worry about me or miss me, of course.

    Dogs never leave you until the final goodbye . . . it’s easier & harder!

    1. I think my parents were ready for me to leave, too. I did NOT give them an easy time, so I chalk this all up to karma, LOL. That IS the good thing about dogs…they always want you around, no matter what. My Sammy didn’t leave my side last night.

      1. I was actually a really easy kid, the proverbial good girl. They were still ready to shove me out of the house!

        I didn’t even want to learn to drive, really, but they insisted and gave me my sister’s car by the time I turned 17 so I could drive to school, work, flute lessons, etc.

      2. LOL, I will admit it’s nice having a driving kid. That’s one less kid to taxi around etc. But I have learned to embrace the time with my youngest daughter more, because I know it will end all too soon.

  2. As I get older I realize how precious the little moments are, I remember telling myself in the chaos I will miss it when it is gone, I’m glad you recognize it to… We learn to adapt and enjoy the moments we do get with our children and our parents as we age. My daughter lives in another state with her husband and my granddaughter, it is hard being far away but I appreciate the time I have when I do see them. Enjoy what time you have, cherish it… When our children fly away we realize what a great job we have done and then we get to figure out who we are and what we want. It is not easy, but we too grow when they fly. 🙂

  3. Awww, Michelle. I remember being just like your daughter at that age. And I remember my mom always being all weepy when I left to go back to college after my breaks and being like “oh geez mom!” It’s just impossible to understand at that age. But I guess she can take solace in the fact that her other kid (my brother) is probably never going to leave, lol.

    I know it’s hard to let go but the fact that your daughter has such a thirst for life and experience means you did something really, really right. She sounds like a strong girl who knows her potential and wants to live life to the fullest and that’s great. The rockiness of your current relationship won’t last forever.

  4. Aww… this is a beautiful post. I think this type of tug-of-war as kids get ready to leave the nest is normal. I remember being like this with my parents too. It certainly doesn’t make it easier though.

  5. Too funny about that sock in the vacuum. Of course I’m Sure it wasn’t at the time. I think that’s what my parents thought too when I left home since I’m the baby. But we have to live our lives and you are never too old to go home.

  6. I can tell you what: even if there was a handbook or guidebook for parenting, they would be worthless because every kid is so different, and everyone’s interpretation of the information is so different. You can do everything “right” and still be wrong. And even if you are right, your teen will probably still think that you are wrong! lol.
    You love them the best way you can, teach them to practice kindness and good judgment the best way you can, and set them up to do the same to the world around them.

  7. Oh I love this post!
    It reminded me of one of my childhood best friends mom. She was so strict about the house being clean, she’d even lock the kids and their friends in a kids room to play while she cleaned the house, and no one was aloud to walk through the house for at least half a day if it was just cleaned so she could enjoy her few moments of piece and perfect cleanliness. But after her kids moved away and out, I was out walking one day and she said if she could do it all over again she would never of had the one day a week that the house was perfect because now it’s perfect all the time and she misses the messes. She’s a much different grandma, but yes even those socks and non make beds one day will all be missed. But at the same time all the memories and love we give children are the things they will remember and look forward to coming back to visit to share and be around.

  8. This is just such a sweet post. I have been thinking a lot lately (especially being away from my little one) about how fast it all goes and trying to savor every moment and be more patient and in the moment. Thank you for the reminder about how fast it really goes. You are an amazing mom!

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