Beginning of the End

Tomorrow. It’s the first day back to school. I have 3 kids going back tomorrow (the 4th starts next week). William will be in kindergarten. Henry will be in 5th grade. And Maggie…

10360891_789616171072300_5867033584210816176_nTomorrow, Maggie starts her senior year of high school. My beautiful, whip-smart, accomplished daughter begins her final year of being “at home”. And I don’t know how to handle it.

I try to pretend it’s not happening. I try to pretend it’s like every other of the past 13 years – just another first day of school. I try to pretend it’s not tearing me apart.

But it is.

I honestly don’t know how I’m going to get through this year. Every single thing she does, I’ll be thinking, “this is the last time she’ll….” or “we’ll never do this again”.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Every single mom out there goes through this. I’m not special or unique. My melancholy isn’t a special snowflake of maternal despair that no one could possibly understand. But all the same? It HURTS.

She’s my only girl. My first. My baby. And, at the same time, she’s this amazing, articulate, caring, logical, productive, organized, gorgeous, talented, determined LEADER of a young lady. The girl has her s*@t together. I mean, this is the girl who decided, halfway through her 7th grade year, that spending another year in middle school was a waste. That she was already doing 8th grade work and getting As, so what was the point of wasting another year. She made her case, presented it to her principal and spent the 2nd half of the year as an 8th grader. In the blink of an eye, I lost a year with her. At the time, I knew this was going to be a struggle for me – that losing that year was going to feel like a gutting. Now here I stand on the cusp of this final year and I’m terrified.

I’m terrified that I’ll mess it up somehow – being too clingy or too needy – and ruin the little time I have left. That my overly sensitive and OMGFEEEEEEEEELINGS!!!!!!!! will close her off to me. Or maybe that I’ll be so afraid of the end that I’ll miss the moments. I don’t know.

I do know that I’m sitting here with tears running down my face because I’m torn in two. One half is so immensely, unspeakably, unfathomably proud of her. Of what she’s accomplished. Of how mature she is. Of how she doesn’t let the garbage pull her down. That I am blessed enough to even call her my daughter. The other half wants to put her in a jar, sit on the jar, and never let her go. She’s my GIRL. She’s my BABY GIRL. And she really doesn’t need me anymore. How do I get through that. How do I work it out so I don’t utterly ruin our last year together?

Anyway. Tomorrow’s the last day. Of what ought to be an amazing year for her. I cannot wait to see how she conquers what’s in front of her. How well & how often she climbs to the top of the mountains put before her, plants her flag and stands there with her skirts flowing in the wind. The bodies of the vanquished scattered beneath. (just kidding)

Maggie. You are beyond words. I could sit here and type adjectives about you for hours. Who you are and what you are absolutely blows my mind. And I am SO grateful to be your mom and get to watch you do it. You have proven that you have the capabilities to do & be anything you want. You’ve shown what hard work, determination and guts can do. I wish I could adequately find the vocabulary to fully express how amazing I find you. The PRIDE I have in you. The joy I feel as I watch you live your life. Enjoy this year. Relish every minute. Squeeze out the fun. You have the platforms you’ve wanted and the skills you need – this year is YOURS.

And I? Just love you.