Dear Katie, Matt and Tim
You’ve made it! Congratulations! You are all grown up and all moved out of our house. I am proud of you, happy for you and so unbelievably sad to see you go. I don’t know how to proceed with my life now that you are no longer its center. I’m afraid to become a hovering, overbearing “Mamma bear”, but I am not ready to just let go of my role as your Mom.
I’ve been asked to put my thoughts into words, to tell you how I feel about the stage that we are leaving and the one that we are reluctantly entering. How to capture all that in a page or two? I’ll try, but know that there is so much more still left to say.
So this is what I miss:
An arm around my leg as I stand at the sink
Little hands framing my face and holding me still for a kiss
Bed time stories
Rocking a feverish little body in the darkest part of the night, soothing hair back from your face
I miss the rush to the door when I come home from work. I miss Saturday pancakes. I miss beach days and backyard fires and helping with homework.
I miss knowing that I have to get home in a hurry, because people need me to be there. Knowing that you need me to cook for you, need me to keep the fridge stocked and the bathrooms clean. That I need to be there at bedtime. I miss knowing that the fact of my existence is what gives you strength and comfort and makes you feel safe.
I miss driving you places all the time, because when we were together in the car, you were a captive audience. I asked questions, you answered. I miss the feeling that I knew the most important things in your life. I miss sitting in the cold parking lot waiting for you to come out of school/work/practice. I miss how your first words would be, “Hi, Ma.” And your next would be “What’s for dinner?”
I miss the excitement of your birthdays; making just the right cake (dinosaur eggs, remember? Angel cake? Ice cream cake!) and getting you just what you wanted, and it wasn’t money, and you didn’t find the link and forward it to me.
I miss teacher conferences and doctor visits, because those were the times when other adults praised me for the great job I was doing as your mom. I miss the steady and constant positive feedback that came with raising all of you. The strangers in the restaurant who complimented Dad and I on your good manners, good relationships with each other and your extreme adorableness. I miss those days!
And this is what I look forward to:
Thanksgiving, when you’ll all be around my table, and I will cook and serve and laugh and bask in everyone’s praise.
Unexpected Friday nights when you will drop in for dinner or a glass of wine, or because you need some advice or help from us.
You inviting us to your place for a meal.
You calling to ask me how to make meatball soup, or chicken parm or sauce.
I look forward to knowing when I will be alone, instead of being surprised either by your absence or your presence at all hours of the day and night.
I look forward to the relative neatness that I anticipate in the house.
I look forward to you saying, “I miss you, Ma.”
I look forward to you calling and asking if we’re free this weekend, so you and your significant other can go out to dinner with us.
I can’t wait for you to drop by because you want to tell me about something cool that happened at work.
I remember way back, when I thought I might never have you guys, and I would picture coming into Grandma and Grampa’s house, and you guys yelling “Grampa! Grandma! We’re here!” And then those times, those sweet little happy voices in the front hall, really happened. And you got to play Dominoes with Grampa and you got to eat Grandma’s cookies. And you loved those times!
So now I look forward to hearing your car in the driveway, and hearing your children at my door, yelling “Nonni! Pappa! We’re here!”
Still your Momma,