Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Today I’m going through old file folders and I’ve come to one labeled with my daughter's name. It’s messily fat. Open it up and lay a couple pictures aside and find this envelope, unglued from it’s seams and laid flat and filled with my hand-writing. Instantly I am sitting in front of her middle school waiting to pick her up when this revelation hits me and I have to write it down. No paper so I grabbed this envelope and tear it open to create a writing page. Now, what 15, 16 years later? The heart gripping panic still assails me. It was the moment of the beginning of the natural separation of my youngest and me. Here’s what I wrote:

“I used to be able to spot my daughter as the whole school let out--by the turn of her head or the strut of her sturdy little body. Now she’s fourteen and when school lets out there must be 500 girls the same height and size, hair swinging the same length, either long and free or pulled back into a nape-of-the-neck pony tail; all dressed in the uniform they voluntarily wear. Faded pale jean shorts and long-tailed Tshirts emblazoned with sarcastic blurbs about “winning”, “having no fear” or “partying cold and naked.” Feet encased in costly athletic star-endorsed running shoes. I wonder if she didn’t come home one night--would I know what she had on to describe to the police? I used to dress her so I knew--not so anymore."

It has been a long road of comings and goings but I know she'd survive very well if I were gone Home. That is comforting.


At April 25, 2012 at 1:06 PM , Blogger Mary K said...

Your post is so haunting. My youngest will be 19 in a few days and has a child of her own. I remember thinking the same thing a few years ago. It still gives me chills because my oldest is 25 and lives on her own. If she were gone, how long would it be before I was notified? Thanks for reminding me to keep in touch with my babies.

Good post.

At April 25, 2012 at 2:37 PM , Blogger Katie M. said...

Loved this and I would think it hits home to many moms. My baby is 32 with 3 children of his own and if I know he's not feeling well, I want to run and take care of him. Yet I stop and remember that is now his wife's job and she does it well.


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