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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Not in the plans

I think, for the most part, I've been lucky to have a teenager who likes spending time with me and normally considers what we have going on before doing something with her friends. She's a big help and great company, but she still manages to stay on the go since she found a group of friends she enjoys hanging out with.

On Saturday, I'll be taking her to college for the scholar's program and she'll be gone for five weeks. In preparation (besides the errand running, supply buying, etc.) I left my to-do list relatively free so I can help her pack, get last minute things and spend time with her.

Today she says, "Can I go out to dinner tomorrow night?"

I am dripping with disappointment.

She and her friends have decided to/planned for dinner as a group. A couple of them are going into the military and two have summer programs, but once they return for their few weeks at the end of the summer the ones still here will be preparing to leave. Well, actually they'll all be getting ready for their Fall semester.

I thought we would spend her last night together. I didn't find out 'til today that she plans on finishing packing today so she can go out tomorrow night. We have to leave at about 7 a.m. Saturday morning and I expected her to be in and in bed at a decent hour so she can begin her college career on the right foot. I mean, she is getting college credits for this program so it's really important.

Well... there go my expectations.

I could put my motherly foot down - she is just 17 - and let her know that she will be in on Friday night, but do I really want to start her "life on her own" off with a negative?

I am physically and mentally exhausted from playing chauffeur, running errands and getting everyone (my four offspring) off to their activities, responsibilities, etc., that I haven't really done anything for myself in almost a month - probably longer. I guess I was thinking the least she can do is "pay" me with a mother/daughter night. The three younger children will be with their father this weekend so it seemed perfect to me.

This time was coming. I know. I just didn't think it would be this weekend. My feelings are mixed about her leaving. I'm excited, proud, nervous... I'm everything! My oldest daughter is not only my child, but she is a wonderful friend. (Am I pitiful or what?)

For the next few days I'll just smile (or frown!) and do whatever is necessary to make this the most memorable exciting time of her life. Inside the tears may fall I will just have to keep in mind that this is what I've been preparing her for her entire life. I just forgot to prepare myself.
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