Monday, August 20, 2012

The girl and the boy


We moved them both into their respective campus domiciles this weekend, my son on the South Hill of Ithaca, my daughter on the West Hill. In a sweet twist, they will both be attending different colleges in the same town, and that does offer me some comfort, even though my son will be there for only one more year, and even though my daughter's school seemed huge and overwhelming to me, and I was a hyperventilating just a little bit imagining leaving my girl, my baby, in that large sprawling place. At a certain point I realized that she wasn't going to start truly making it her home for the next four years until we left town. She was too busy making sure I would be okay. She was very indulgent of her mother, especially on Saturday when we all went shopping for supplies in Walmart and my son and I squabbled, as we are capable of doing, the two of us just so stubborn and controlling, and she took me by the shoulders and walked me a pace away, and she put her long arms around me and said, "Breathe, Mama, just flow. It's going to be fine." Meanwhile my husband was calming down my son. You can see how the personality dynamics break down in our family! We got past it quickly, I'm happy to say, and the rest of the time my son was his most goofy self, lightening the mood for everyone, giving his sister advice on what she would need in her dorm room (in a word, snacks) when it got so cold she couldn't imagine going outside if she didn't have to be in class. Oh God, I miss them. This feels utterly surreal.




33 comments:

  1. Ithaca is such a beautiful town. I know your heart is hurting but she's on her way. College in upstate NY was such a wonderful experience for me. It's wonderful that you share your family with us. Now, I'm off to reminisce about my own good ole days :)Remember it's all going to be alright.

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    1. Andrea, it is a beautiful town, very picturesque with a mostly liberal vibe. Where did you go to college?

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  2. Oh. . .Sister Lister I just want to hug you so tight right now. How bittersweet this is. . .sigh. Your boy is looking so very much like his father. It is downright scary. And that girl. . .she is so full of light. I remember her essays on New York and I feel certain that she is a girl who can conquer the world. She comes from good stock and so does your son. You must be over the moon with pride.

    xo, KM

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    1. KM, he does look like his dad, doesn't he. But he's more like me! My girl has her dad's temperament. And yes, I am proud of them both and happy to be the one they call mom.

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  3. Thinking of you with all this change, dear Angella --- surreal it is. Two of my three now live on another island (a flight or a drive & ferry trip away) and my third is contemplating joining them a few months down the track. As with so much of life, a paradoxical, parallel thing happens when we engage and let go, doesn't it? The heart remains our steady place. Thank goodness for our hearts. . .
    Love to you xo

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    1. Claire, you have such a gentle spirit. I feel comforted by it. do you ever feel tempted to move to be closer to your children? I wonder if I would? Perhaps in time I will build enough of a life that does not revolve so completely around them. My love to you, dear heart.

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  4. Yes. They will be fine. Now- how about you?
    Hang in there, Mama. It's a process.

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    1. Sweet Mary Moon, Mama will be fine, too. I promise. xo

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  5. One thing about going to a big school is that you don't actually go to all of it. You end up in a much smaller part of it. Just follow her advice, breath, just breath and you will be fine.

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    1. Kristin, you are exactly right! When I was in her actual school, it did feel warm and intimate and she did say after one of the meetings, "this is sooo my school." thank you, dear friend.

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  6. The fact that your daughter could/would say, "Breathe, Mama, just flow. It's going to be fine," overwhelms me.

    It reminds me of what my own mom went through as she released me to an unknowing, unknown world, sensing who and what I was, but never speaking the word ...

    God, I wish I could do this life again. I would make all things right.

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    1. Glenn, we are too young to wish we could do this life again, but yes, I know that feeling so well. Your mom understood that was all she could do at that moment, and she trusted you, and she was right to trust you. Hugs.

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  7. I miss them for you. Damn. Why is everything so difficult?

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    1. Elizabeth, why indeed. i keep asking, what now? one foot in front of the other is what. who knows where those steps will lead. love to you, friend.

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  8. Every family needs some "moderators"! It must be great knowing they'll be so close to each other.

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    1. Steve, i will miss my little moderator! but she probably can use the time off from playing our family role or perhaps we take our roles into all areas of our lives? i don't know. in any case, i often think she came here to be a calming force in my life, in the lives of all she encounters. she is such a radiant spirit.

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  9. I wish i could be there with them and you...I miss my New York family!! **hugs***

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    1. My darling niece, you commented!!!!!!! Do it again! I love and miss you and wish you had been there with us. It would have made it perfect.

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  10. I love hearing you speak of the dynamics of being with your kids, arguing with them, loving them, missing them. I wish I'd had a bit of that overview years ago when dealing with my own mother. Of course it's surreal. It's a new chapter, a middle chapter that is. You've got so much left to write. Tonight I went to see Hope Springs with my stepmom (the Meryl Streep movie). It's quite good, and puts many things in perspective. You should check it out. Hugs.

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    1. Miss A, i often wish i was a more detached sort, that everything i feel didn't piece so deeply, that i could brush it off my shoulders, trusting everything to work out. But you're right, there are more chapters to write. This one belongs to me and my husband. Thanks for the movie recommendation. We are going to see it this week! Love to you, my sweet friend.

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  11. Don't be sad.
    I'm putting John and Claire on a Greyhound right now heading to NYC so you can start again.
    m.

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    1. Mark, you know how to make me laugh! As if you'd ever give up a minute with those beautiful kids! But thanks for the thought! Love you.

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  12. My lord she's a good girl. I'm so glad they're in the same town.

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    1. Oh deirdre, she is SUCH a good girl. I hope she is tough enough for this world. your comment made me cry for some reason. i miss her. i miss him too, but the missing her is new. xxoo

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  13. Oh Angella! I can feel your longing and your ache for them. This is the power of your words - your emotions are so strong and you describe them so artfully...you lift us up and take us with you.

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    1. Thank you, dear Chrissy. I am so glad you are here.

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  14. Just commenting to leave you some love, Angella. Keep breathing :)

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    1. ellen, breathe i shall! good advice, my dear friend. love.

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  15. Oh my friend. I am feeling the deep longing of the ache inside of my heart for you. That is exactly where I can feel it right now, in the deepest recesses of my heart. Maybe that is because that's really where our babies are first formed? I can also feel you wanting to let go without having to release. It is such a dichotomy of emotions, this parenting thing.

    Ithaca is such a lovely place. Especially in the fall when the air becomes crisp and the leaves paint such a beautiful background. And the fact that your babies are together while also being apart. It's such a perfect picture. So perfect. Cornell is such a great school! You must be kvelling, dear heart.(another Yiddish word roughly translated as
    overflowing with great pride;), which you should be!) Mark and I went to Syracuse University and we loved it. Your daughter is going to be absolutely fine! She probably has already made ten new friends!

    So breathe, Momma, just flow. Everything is going to be fine. Indeed, it will be.

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    1. Debra, she does seem to be doing okay, making friends, working hard already, but managing to do the social thing too. She explained to me that she really couldn't go out much during the week, there was too much work to stay on top of, but come friday night, all bets were off. Just spoke to her (it's saturday morning) and she did indeed have a very play filled evening last night! But she sounds no worse for wear and is now headed to the library so there's that. Our heart catches for them. Will they manage? Will they make good choices? We just have to trust them, don't we? I love you so.

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    2. I love you too, dear one, and I am here to ponder all of the difficult questions with that we cannot help but consider.

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  16. Your children are just beautiful - every definition of it! I would love to know what you did, in every minute of their lives, to nurture such nice people. Yours are the sort who have every reason to spend time in their original home (a pile of love)...you'll never have to miss them for long.

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    1. Sweet Sacha, your mouth to God's ear, I hope it is just as you say. Love to you, friend.

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