The Hope of Your Heart

I miss my daughter. Not in an adult, “my daughter is off at college” way. Mostly, it’s a childish, “I’m sick and I don’t feel good and I’m bored and I’m sad and I want my teddy,” kind of way. As wonderful as Ron has been since my surgery, coming home to make me lunch and checking on me throughout the day, I’m lonely and sad. On days like today, Aubrey would come climb into my bed, bringing her various art supplies, and we would watch shows, chat, I’d crochet, and she would draw, or do something amazing with duct tape. We would eat way too much sugar, and she would make me laugh. THAT is what I miss. I don’t miss her presence, but I miss her being, if that makes sense?

Before I had my hysterectomy, I went to visit her for parents’ weekend, and stayed so we could visit the following weekend, as well. In between, we got in a huge fight over the stupidest things, and then when I got home, we got in a huge fight over chat, again over something stupid. But the days that we weren’t fighting were absolutely awesome. We went to check out the Irish Dance school, which turned out to be scary and amazing. We went shopping to get her dishes, pots, cooking and eating utensils, more storage, and more warm clothes. And we spent a lot of time just hanging out in her dorm room, chatting, and catching up on the season’s shows that she hadn’t had time to watch. I got to meet her friends, and my last night there, we got blasted with a freak snowstorm that took out the power, and brought girls from throughout the dorm down to the common room. We moved the furniture around and everyone brought snacks to throw in a pile in the middle, and we all stayed up until 3am, just talking and laughing.

Aubrey is incredibly blessed to be included in such an amazing group of girls. I wish she wasn’t so shy, and made friends more easily. By the time I left, I knew most of the people by name who came down for breakfast. Everyone got used to seeing me in the kitchen, cooking something. Zoe is by far my favorite dorm resident, and strikes me as an unshy version of Aubrey. I met her while I was making soup, and then we became hall friends. She’s absolutely lovely, and creative, and inspiring, and everything I hope Aubrey will be by the time she graduates.

My plan is to move closer, but not too close. I want to be driving distance, but not on top of her. Hartford, CT, or Springfield, MA would be good. Great Barrington, MA would be even better. I’d love to live in the Berkshires, in a drafty old farm house with six fireplaces and wideboard wooden plank floors. Then she could have a car and come home whenever she wanted, but stay away when she wanted, too. Aubrey’s never moving back to Texas, as the Northeast Seaboard is her people. She loves everything about being up there, including the times when the power goes out. I do, too. It’s a different way of living. Perhaps it’s because everyone in Texas is so spread out, but it seems like people up there are neighbors, and know who everyone else is. I’m sure that can be a bit of a pain in the ass, but it is also really cool, especially if you need a cup of sugar, or a few eggs, or a generator so you can run the well and take a shower.

I know this separation is temporary, and necessary, but it sucks. I am so lucky that my daughter is one of my best friends. No, I do not tell her inappropriate things about my marriage, as I have other friends for that, but she is the person that I love to spend time with more than anyone else. We can have entire conversations with our eyebrows, never saying a word. A world of meaning exists in the simple motion of sliding a salt shaker across the table. She makes me laugh.

I understand all about individuation. But I think our society frowns upon closeness between parents and their children. A son who is close to his mom is a “momma’s boy,” and a daughter who is close to her mother is a child who can’t take care of herself. I think that’s wrong. My kids and I have been through a LOT together, and we made it through it all TOGETHER. Just as trials and tribulations can make a marriage stronger, I believe that tough times can make a family bond like spider web. While some families pull apart when things go wrong, in our family, we circle the wagons. We are close, and I don’t see anything wrong with that.

It’s tough for my kids, though, because they feel like they have to make excuses to their friends. None of their friends have the same kind of relationship with their parents, so none of them understand, and it sets them up for ridicule if they are honest. But the thing of it is, we’re past the mommy stage. While they do sometimes ask for parental guidance, and while I am well known for offering it unsolicited, in general, we are friends. Matt does all sorts of things of which I don’t approve, but I don’t love him any less, and I don’t lecture him incessantly (I said incessantly!). Aubrey is still in formation, so she’s still biologically stupid sometimes, but she is the most capable young woman I will ever know. She doesn’t need me to “do” things for her. Unfortunately for her, she’s still under our financial thumb, which puts a lot of pressure on her to do well at school, but I see that as separate from our relationship. I can be mad at my daughter for screwing up at school, but still want to spend time with my friend and miss her while she’s gone. It can seem to be a strange dichotomy of “come here, go away,” but in general, it works for us.

So while I’m lying here in bed, lonely, sad, bored, and trying not to climb the walls with insanity, I will miss her and wish she was here, but at the same time, I am proud of her and glad she is there. She is mostly happy, if a bit homesick (mostly for things having to do with food, and of course, Amy), but I comfort myself with the plan to move the mountain to Mohammed.

“The depth of your dreams, the height of your wishes
The length of your vision to see, the hope of your heart
Is much bigger than this
For it’s made out of what might be
When I get lonely ah, that’s only a sign
Some room is empty, and that room is there by design
If I feel hollow – that’s just my proof that there’s more
For me to follow – that’s what the lonely is for”



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