Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The New Project

They don't tell you about this part -- the one at the end.  There are a lot of books that tell you about your baby's first hours, days, months, years.  There are websites that show you what your baby looks at any given moment even before it is born.  (Not sure why this creeps me out, but it does).  They'll tell you every detail about their care and feeding, their needs, their development, their little hearts.  Some even tell you about how smelly and sweaty and sad and scary having children really is.  Those were the ones I read on about day five without a shower and day 30-something without being able to poop alone.

But there aren't many books that tell you about the other end.  The part where if you do your job right, you lose it.  That you are fixing to watch that little teeny, tiny person walk out the door and go to college.  And you just want to curl up into a fetal position and weep.  Which I am (somewhat unexpectedly) doing right now as I type.  And they don't tell you about the mood swings between could-you-just-unload-the-fucking-dishwasher-and-oh-my-God-she's-leaving-me, which occur with startling regularity and frequently have only milliseconds between them.  Most of the time, I swerve like a drunken sailor between being super, super excited for her (I loved college a whole lot) to the deepest grief over what I am losing, slowly, over the next nine months.  It's the ultimate of ironies, like pregnancy in reverse.

And what would you title those books anyway?  What to Expect Senior Year? How Not to Murder Your Almost-Adult Daughter? Grief, Loss, and a New Craft Room? There isn't just one reaction or one response or one feeling that goes along with this process.  It's hard to know what to do or what to think or what to feel.  The manual hasn't been written yet.  So, in the meantime, I'll do what any self-respecting senior parent would do, I'll just bury those feelings way down deep and let them bubble up as anger and resentment.  Just kidding.  Sort of.

So, as part of my grieving/separation/celebration process, I started a new crochet project on the first day of her last year of school, August 26th.  My plan was, and miraculously still is, to work on it through the fall and winter and have it completed by graduation day the first week of June.  I'm going to try to weave all the way through this blanket prayers for her safety and wellbeing, wishes for her success and happiness, and positive thoughts for when times are tough.  And on the days when I can't do that, I'm going to try to not weave curses in it.  Baby steps.  We picked out her yarn in May:

And I worked on it through the fall tennis season.  And band season.  And college visits.  And college application season.  And I've still got a loooooong way to go.  Nine months, as it happens.

I'll keep you posted.

In an effort to keep it honest, much like we did on the previous project, I'll be posting daily (or what passes for daily) in the QC and plan to include at least one daily step in the process of letting go.  Maybe little helpful tips or tricks we've learned along the way, such as:  Don't say,"You'll never survive college if you write like a fifth grader.  What the hell?" as a part of your college essay feedback process.  That might or might not have actually happened.  

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