Annemarie turned 18 last Wednesday.
My baby turned 18!
I’ve known this day would come. The goal of mothering is to work myself out of a job, and I’ve calmly anticipated the inevitable.
Until this year.
In January, on a stressful day, Annemarie asked if we could run to Jamba Juice. “I’m too busy!” I protested. Then it struck me: in September, she heads to college. Only eight more months ’til I start missing all the mother/daughter stuff we do.
I dropped my busy-ness. We jetted to Jamba Juice.
Last week, I missed celebrating Annemarie’s birthday because she’s been on a mission trip in Belize since March 19. I thought I’d be fine while she was gone, as I was busy speaking for a women’s retreat.
But throughout the weekend, I missed my constant companion.
- Annemarie always sets up my book table (“Stay away, Mum; you’ll mess it up!”)
- She fusses over me (“You haven’t eaten since breakfast! Go eat!”)
- And she’s my biggest cheerleader (“You sure had them listening and laughing, Mum!”)
By Wednesday, I was missing my daughter something fierce. For all my bravado (“Your bedroom becomes my new craft room!”) I didn’t realize how much I depend on calling out, “Hey Chickie!?” and hearing back “Yeah, Mum?” Or how much I rely on Annemarie being a text message away. She’s been gone for just ten days, and ohhhh, how I miss my “baby”!
Annemarie returns home Monday evening, and I can’t wait to welcome her back. As soon as she’s caught up on sleep, we’ll head to Jamba Juice so she can tell me about everything I missed.
And then I’ll blink: it’ll be May 31, and I’ll get misty-eyed at “Pomp and Circumstance.” Then I’ll blink again: it’ll be mid-September, and I’ll be over-staying my welcome in her dorm room.
I wouldn’t have missed the last 18 years for anything in the world. And for the next few months, I’m going to do my best not to miss a thing.
Annemarie’s may not leave ’til September, but one thing I’ve learned is that a part of me, of my heart, goes with her.
And that part of my heart is already missing.