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.