Your first six months we sat on the couch together and watched a lot of baseball while you drank a lot of milk. You cooed. I cooed back. You gurgled. I watched in awe. In those first six months, you learned how to focus your eyes, you learned to smile, you lifted your head, you started following me with your eyes. These were huge milestones and yet rather ordinary ones because every healthy baby does those same things in good time. And still. You were my baby, my child, my first born.
I find it remarkable now, no, astounding that here we are staring down at your last six months before you head off to college. There is much we still don't know. What colleges will accept you? What kind of money will they offer? Ultimately, where will you decide to go? Will you be in New York, Bellingham, Seattle, Walla Walla or Baltimore? These are huge decisions to be made and yet rather ordinary ones because thousands of high school graduates find themselves wondering the same thing.
And I cannot help but reflect. On everything. On the joys of raising you, watching you become and coming into your own, and on my regrets (yes, there are a few because my regrets mean I am flawed, thank goodness.)
These tears you see in my eyes on an ordinary day are not going to be hidden away. You will see them more often in the coming months because whenever I try to imagine our lives here in Spokane without you, the tears rise and then fall. I cannot help it, nor do I want to help it.
My grief at your leaving is huge, but it should not be any kind of deterrent to your leaving. It is my love explored, my love felt, my love learning how to find a way without. I know you see it in all of us. Especially in Papa and Sophia. Sawyer's will come differently, more slowly, less fully realized perhaps until he is older. Or I could be wrong. It may be just as fully realized now.
This is your time. This is one of so many moments for you to be out into the world and become. We are not here to hold you back. We are here to launch you, and it has been one of my greatest privileges in this life to launch you.
Just know that my tears, each one of them represent love, deep abiding love and awe for you and who you are becoming.
I am filled with a desire to give you advice over the next six months; there is a rush inside of me to hurry and teach you everything I've failed to teach so far: please oh please wipe the counters and the stovetop when you clean a kitchen, your future love will forever be grateful. Open doors for anyone--a love, the elderly, a child, your mother, the cat. Hang your clothes immediately after they come out of the dryer or they will wrinkle. There are so many things that swirl through my head and yet...the truth is I have done all that I can already. So really all I can say is just continue to be the remarkable person that you are; all I can do is watch. Love and allow yourself to be loved. And read every novel you can get your hands on.
The rest will fall into place. (and eventually we will be okay)