Goodbyes are not forever.
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I’ll miss you
Until we meet again!
~Author Unknown

It’s a huge hole, and I know that there is nothing I can do to make it go away quickly.  I’m going to have to let it heal and close up on it’s own.

Yesterday, when I was leaving the Morrow County Fair after having watched Emma show her pigs, I had to tell her good bye.  She is the girl who created me – the mother, she stole my heart forever nearly seventeen years ago.  Emma is the one of my daughters that I butt heads with the most.  I don’t know if it’s because we are so much alike, or if it is because we are so very different, but I do know that I am beside myself right now about her.

I had to tell my girl goodbye yesterday, and because of her schedule, my schedule, the girls’ schedule, and our recent move to Cove, it is likely I won’t see her again for 3-4 weeks.  As I was leaving the fairgrounds after telling her goodbye, I realized that the next time I see her, the school year will be in full swing, and she will be a very active JUNIOR in high school.  What the heck?  Where did the last 16 years go – oh wait, that’s right she’s almost 17, so where did all that time go, and where did my baby girl go?

I don’t know if it is the realization that we really only have her home with us for two more years, and then she will be like a fledgling bird, ready to explore the world on her own and live her own life as a young adult.  I don’t know if realizing I am not going to be able to make it to every single one of her athletic events this year is what set me off.  Most of all, I don’t understand why this year, the fifth year of saying goodbye at the beginning of the school year is so hard for me.  I do know part of it is that when I look at her, I no longer see the chubby cheeked, little girl, instead, I see a stunning, beautiful young lady who is the light of my life.  It may be any combination of these things, too, who knows.

What I do know, is that as I left the fairgrounds yesterday, my heart ripped apart, and it has been aching ever since.  I should say right off the bat that Emma didn’t do anything to hurt me – actually, she was wonderful and sweet.  I walked away knowing that my baby girl is nearly grown up and she doesn’t need me nearly as much as I want her to.

Two years ago, on Emma’s 15th birthday, I wrote a note about the difficult time I had when I discovered I was pregnant and how I changed from being just another pregnant girl to being a mom.

There are very few things that can describe what it feels like to become a mother. By become a mother, I mean for the very first time. For some women, they experience that feeling of becoming a mother the instant they find out they are expecting. For others it’s the moment they realize those funny gas bubbles they’ve had aren’t gas bubbles at all, rather, they are the tiny movements of the being they are growing inside their bodies. For some women – by choice or necesitiy – it is the instant they decide to adopt. 

For me, it was none of those moments. Quite honestly, when I found out I was pregnant for the very first time, I was excited and nervous, but more than anything I was very resentful and angry. I was ashamed to feel that way, so I didn’t tell many people, either, including Emma’s dad.  After having dropped out of college, I had decided to go back to school in the fall.

Then the rug was pulled out from under me – I was due in December. No school for me. 

I remained resentful toward that circumstance and toward the baby throughout my pregnancy – especially in September when I would have returned to school. I am comfortable talking about this now because of two reasons, I have come to terms with the fact that it was okay for me to feel that way, and the minute I became a mother none of those feelings mattered any more. 

The moment I became a mother was 4:47 p.m., December 7, 1994. The instant I held that baby, she stole my heart forever, and I haven’t been able to get it back since (not that I want it back). She was perfect; rosy-cheeked, blue-eyed, 6 pounds 12 ounces, and beautiful. I really can’t describe the feelings that flooded over me at that moment any other way than by saying it was euphoric. 

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.
She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never.
A mother is something absolutely new.
~ Rajneesh

She is an amazing young lady. She is beautiful, athletic, graceful, stubborn, caring, funny, and smart. She is a huge help to me at home. We laugh, we fight, we drive each other crazy, but we love each other crazy, too.

Emma Kate, you are loved more than you will ever know. Thank you for helping me become a mother – I would not trade this job (really, it’s an honor) for anything.

Happy Birthday Big Girl!

Love,
Mom

I have never, and I mean NEVER had a problem with any of  my girls getting older, I’ve always reveled in it and been excited about it.  This heartache and bitter-sweetness has blindsided me completely, and I have no idea how to fix it.  What I do know is that I was part-way home yesterday and I completely lost it.  I had to pull over the car and have a good cry.  I mean, I’m talking like over an hour cry.

For now, I am going to continue to do the only thing I know how to do – be Emma’s mom.  I will be the best cheerleader, pep squad, and support to her that I know how.  In the mean time, I am sure this hole in my heart will close up as it fills with pride for whatever accomplishments come her way this year.

Most of all, I am going to hold on tight and just love her and treasure the times we do have together.


Amy

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