Here I am at 3:00 in the morning on the first day of the year experiencing yet another sleeplessness night. While the rest of the world celebrates the hope for a great 2013, I am watching Joe Somebody recorded on my DVR while feeling like a Jane Nobody.
You see, two weeks ago yesterday moments before I was scheduled to leave for work, my husband informed me our nineteen-year old daughter was moving out into his sister’s house. I immediately broke down. To make a long story short, I didn’t go to work that day and instead cried all day long. I hadn’t expected this. Neither had my husband; he had been told that Friday before and spent all weekend looking for how and when to tell me. Apparently, the best time to tell me was just as I was to leave for work, right?
Apparently, when she told my husband of her plans that Friday, her intent was to move in with a college friend and that friend’s single mother. So, moving in with her aunt, someone I know and trust, should make me feel better, right? A little; I would have gone off the deep end had she actually moved out into a strangers home – I’ve never met these two other women.
Yes, she’s nineteen, but we’ve never taught her she needed to leave just because she became of legal age. The laws only dictate a cut-off for when a child becomes an adult, but just because one becomes a legal adult doesn’t mean they are ready to move out. She is getting ready to finish her second year in college and will be moving to another state to finish college in about six months. I had expected that. I anticipated that. I looked forward to that. I expected we would have driven her there, I would have given her a huge hug, reminded her to ‘choose the right’ and to call me every day, and then I would have cried during the 26 hour drive home. Instead, that’s not what happened.
After a tearful day I explained to my daughter I had plans for us over the next few months and looked forward to the ritual of sending her off to college. She told me, “Not everyone does that, though.” I wanted to explode. Instead, I left the room. I had a right of being part of the decision that changed those plans instead of just being told, and being the last to know, my daughter was moving out.
Then, still that same dreaded Monday, I learned her plans were to move that Thursday… before Christmas and on a day I worked. With each stab of the knife I wondered if the pain would ever cease. I saw no end in sight as I switched between painful tears and an angry heart. Later that week was a winter storm, a blessed winter storm, which changed those plans and postponed them by one week.
For one whole week I was able to deny the fact she was moving and pretend everything was okay. Finally, Thursday came. My dad and brother came over to help move her to her aunt’s house. I went along. I gave her a hug and reminded her to ‘choose the right’ and she gave me a grunt and nearly pushed me away. I left my sister-in-law’s house with no sense of content, closure, or hope.
Since that night I've hardly slept. I’ve cried many times and wondered when I’ll be able to live a normal life again. I will get concerned and cry, then receive a semblance of reassurance, then have reason to get concerned again, cry, and then receive another hint of reassurance. Sometimes, I just get concerned and cry with no reassurance in sight. My winter vacation is over after today, the first day of the New Year, and I hope I get some sleep before then. Perhaps I will continue my story as it’s not all been told. There is so much more to share and it’s only been two weeks since the news and four days since she moved out. Perhaps no-one will ever read this, but it feels good to share.