I am missing my daughter but I am blessed to be connected with her on a regular basis via cell phone, texting, Facebook, email. I am no longer her guardian or her brother's guardian. It is not a bad thing, my role has changed. It is not over, it is just different.
It is a process, adjusting to not living together on a regular basis. I have had some practice, adjusting to life after our son left, but I had our daughter here to ease the transition. It was an effective buffer. With Krista gone I am adjusting to cooking less for dinner, feeding the dogs solo, watching silly television by myself (it is somehow way less fun alone). No more mother daughter fun time, lunches, pedicures or shopping for awhile. Those are the physical differences. The things I can point to. The more challenging differences are harder to quantify. Our home feels like a mouth missing a tooth. I am constantly aware of the emptiness, and my heart notices as surely as a tongue constantly drawn to the gaping hole left by the absent tooth. Our home is forever altered, as am I.
I am still a Mother, but no longer Momma, or Mommy. I find myself watching mothers with young children and wanting to remind them, "This time passes so fast, these days are precious and numbered, enjoy them. Do not take them for granted". Why do they feel so infinite at the time and so fleeting now? The empty house reverberates with the questions. Was I Mom enough? Did I hug enough, love enough, smile enough, encourage enough, empower enough, listen enough? Surely I tried, but some days life got in the way. May my children know that nothing is more important to me and to their Dad, to us, than the two of them. Ever. That remains the same.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. The constants are there, I love my children. Their father and I love them. They are the center of our nuclear family. It changes, they grow up and move forward into their lives and our circle of a nuclear family shifts to include more. We stand behind our children, instead of surrounding them. There is room for them to move ahead on their path and purpose, connected to the ones they love. We support, we nurture, we love, we comfort them. These things do not change. We are blessed.
This is a major life change. Without our children here we are redefining ourselves, our roles, our relationships. We are forever altered, as are they. The important things do not change. We love them, they love us. They are amazing human beings. Their futures are bright. Now is their time to spread their wings, to fly free, to follow their bliss. We are here for them. Always in all ways. Period. The more things change the more they stay the same. Love.
Krista, Ryan and Dakota at Krista's graduation.