Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Year Since They Left

It's been one year since Ashley & Chelsea left for their freshman years at college. Granted, Chelsea didn't officially move out until a couple of months later, however, between classes, work & a boyfriend, she was only home to sleep.

In this past year there was a lot of changes. A lot of heartbreak and tears. Looking back, losing them to adulthood hit me harder than I ever imagined it would. I realized just how much I enjoyed being their full-time mom and it hurt when they left. I honestly didn't know if I'd ever get over it. While I don't believe I have yet completely, I am much better than I thought I might be at this time.

While I still miss them very much (thank heavens for cell phones, text messaging and the Internet!), I have come to honestly realize that there are some positive things I have noticed. Such as.....

1. I really enjoy having a bathroom all to myself. It stays so much neater.

2. We go through a lot less toilet tissue with me being the only girl in the house.

3. I haven't had a single item from my make-up drawer or jewelry box disappear in the past year.

4. I don't have to worry about them laughing hysterically because they put one or two songs on my ipod without me knowing it, which leads to me jumping out of my skin as I turn my ipod on and hear a loud heart-thumping dance beat that I wasn't expecting to hear.

5. Our grocery bill is so much smaller when we are only feeding 3 of us, and not 5 plus other teenage girls (don't let them fool you - they all can eat a LOT).

But there are other negatives I hadn't thought of. Such as....

1. I am not current on the latest music trends since I don't have a house full of girls dancing and singing to the radio in the family room. I heard a song not long ago that had "Boom Boom Pow" in it. At least it's nice to know that songs that make absolutely no sense are still around (remember "Purple People Eater" or "Wooly Bully"?).

2. I'm not sure if my clothes are geeky or not since no one is here to tell me. My guys could care less about that stuff.

3. I am no longer up to date on who is dating who at the high school, who likes or doesn't like who, who is fighting with who, etc. I've tried asking Austin, but all I get is an "I dunno".

4. I don't have my live-in stylists redoing my hair for me when I can't get it right.

5. One of them loved hugs, but the other one also indulged her mom and let me hug her as much as I wanted to. I miss the hugs.

But, through it all, when I see the changes, the heartaches, the fears and the challenges my girls have had to face in the past year, they have faced them much better than I think I would have at 18. They have developed such a maturity that can only come from enduring life lessons and I am so proud of the young women they are ---even though a part of me will always miss my little girls.

I pray that God will watch over them through their sophomore years and beyond.


Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

This brought tears to my eyes, Dena. I remember when they first left home, and how hard that was on you. I am proud of you for being willing to look at the good along with the obvious heartache.


2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Oh, Dena, this was so touching. I can relate to so much of this. I wish all moms of kids this age could read this--maybe even a few who still have little ones hanging all over them and spilling their glasses of milk.