April 03, 2017

learning to let go-a mama's journey

a few months ago my daughter decided to spend her junior year living with her dad. though the plan of her possibly living with him at some point was not new to me, the sudden announcement and assurance came as a shock. i was actually incredibly sad, hurt, confused and a little pissed off. i mean, she had told me in the middle of jamba juice while we were waiting for our smoothies, and so nonchalantly too; like she was telling me she was going to dye her hair pink. it went like this;

daughter: so, i was going to tell you and joey together, but since we're here right now... i decided i'm going to go live with my dad

me: *brooding-holding back tears* oh, really?

d: yeah. i want to spend my junior year out there.

me: i see

and then i didn't say anything for the rest of the day

see, it's been (practically) just the two of us since her dad left for the army thirteen years ago. she spent a few months with him before kindergarten, and her first grade year, but she has basically been with me her whole life, beside summer and holidays. while the thought of her someday living with him was in the back of my head as a possibility, i just always figured it would be her and i until she left for college. i've lived in the same town, all of her friends and family are here, this is what she knows, and she's just always been with me. so imagine my shock when in the middle of jamba juice she announces that she has decided to live with her dad. it just sounded so... final.

of course i have never discouraged her from living with him and support her fully, but i was just so confused as to why she would want to leave everything behind without even trial living with him during the summer, since she would be visiting him during the summer anyway. i also felt let down and abandoned, and that maybe i even let her down. so many things were going through my head, so many emotions i was experiencing; i could barely stomach the idea and conversation of her going.

then one night i was lying in bed thinking about her leaving for a school year, and about how the past 13 years its just been the two of us, and how her dad sacrifices daily for his kids, for his family, and how much he has missed with her, and i realized how selfish i was in not wanting her to go. she's old enough to make the decision to go live with him and because i feel completely secure in how his household is run, she should go! she should be able to spend the next year with him, and her siblings and step-mom. and he deserves it too. am i going to miss her? of course! am i going to be sad and incredibly jealous and still wish she were with me? duh. but i am no longer hurt, confused and pissed. i also don't feel let down and abandoned; i am actually very content. it's amazing what a mother's love for her daughter can accomplish and get through.

i'm also excited to turn her room into my sewing room-temporarily-while she is gone! (just kidding, bry!)

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