son in law

Our last Easter together…

My oldest daughter is moving to Connecticut in a few months, my second oldest daughter is heading off to college this fall and my new son-in-law is going to be deployed most of next year.  So this year, we really tried to cram as much Eastery-ness into our weekend.  We dyed almost a hundred eggs, we decorated the dining room with all the pastel stuff that we could find, we cooked just about all of the recipes from the Easter section of The Pioneer Woman’s holiday cookbook and we made tie-dyed t-shirts.  My hands are like super stained.

We are all trying so hard to spend as much quality time together as possible. It’s like we can feel the bubble that has encompassed us all cracking and we know that soon it will be gone and everyone will start spreading out.  And it’s such a weird time in my parenting career.  I am not sure what the right things to do are, I want to make sure I don’t miss things or push too hard or jump in front of any incoming Mistake Trains that are headed towards the girls.  They are both young adults and deserve to experience all of the things they are meant to experience, I can’t save them all the time.

And while the first part of my parenting career is coming to an end, I have the younger two girls here with another 4 and 7 years left before they head off to college and some times I feel like I spent all of my good momming on the older two and now I’m on cruise control with the younger ones.  Also, I don’t know if it was because I was so much younger, but I feel like I am much closer to the older two.  I feel like they are more open with me and that we have more of a friendship than a child and parent relationship.  With the little girls, I very much feel like a mom and I feel like I have to really try hard to get them to be open with me.  I often think this is how most mothers feel all the time.

My firstborn…

My oldest daughter has been living on her own for almost a full year now.  In that year she learned how to drive in the city, started college, learned to pay bills, got her first job, decided she hated having roommates, got married, switched jobs, bought a newish car and made the decision to move to be with her husband where ever he got stationed.  Which as it turns out is Connecticut.

It’s strange how much she has changed in that time.  Sure, a lot of who she has always been is there, a lot of who she was as a teenager is still there.  But the little changes that are the adult side of her are the ones I enjoy seeing.  I didn’t raise a daughter who is afraid to ask for help, quite the contrary really – she calls me almost daily and we discuss everything from switching jobs to grocery shopping to budgeting – but she is also quite capable of making a decision and sticking to her guns.  Even if I don’t agree with her.

One of the cooler aspects of having an adult daughter is how she gave me a son.  As a mother of four daughters, I’ve rarely had any boys around… just the occasional neighbor kid and more recently, a nephew.  I didn’t even get married until a couple of years ago, so really it’s just been an estrogenfest for the majority of the last twenty years.  I’ve toyed with the idea of adopting a little boy, but decided I was meant to mother the females and I’m gonna stick to what I know.  The thing about my oldest is that she always knew she wanted to be married and have a family.  When she had her first little boyfriend at thirteen and she asked him at what age did he think he would get married and he responded with “I have no idea, I’m just a kid” she realized she was different.  She’s never really been interested in just being a kid.  She wants to be a mom and a wife.  And that’s what she’s always wanted.  Luckily for her, the next boy that she asked that question didn’t react quite the same way and five years later, they said their I Do’s.

A lot of people think they are too young to get married.  It’s a double edged sword, being in love at a young age.  Everyone thinks you’re too young to get married but they also think you shouldn’t be living together (at least down here in South Texas)… And yeah, 19 and 21 are young ages for such a commitment, but those two have been in a relationship longer than any I’ve ever been in.  They are best friends and they make all of their decisions together. Sometimes they make mistakes that kids make and hopefully they learn from them, but I honestly could see them celebrating a 50 year anniversary some day because they are building their relationship to last.

In just a few months, she and I will load up her new little Escape with their three cats and a bunch of luggage and we will make the two thousand mile drive to Connecticut where I will leave her to start the next four years of her life.  It’s gonna break my heart but I know that they will take care of each other.