Monday, May 16, 2011
It's weekends like this past one that the swift passage of time hits you full on in the face. It was graduation weekend at UMass Amherst -- exciting and bittersweet. My daughter was one of the cum laude graduates from the Isenberg School of Management. I started preparing myself emotionally for this day when she was still a freshman in high school.
By preparing I mean, crying regularly as I thought how fast the time was going and she'd be out of the house and off to college before I knew it. My baby. Her brother was already gone. Fast forward four years to August 2007 when we did indeed move her up four flights of stairs (elevator not working) on a blistering hot 100 degree day. And being a girl (unlike the boys who pretty much arrived with the clothes on their backs and some vital electronics), between the buckets of shoes, bags of clothes, toiletries, and such (not to mention linens, electronics and storage units)...let's just say there were many trips involved up those flights of stairs.
Once she was settled, I bought her sunflowers at the local farmer's market, we said our goodbyes, and Marty and I took off in the truck. That's when the tears started flowing -- for two weeks, almost nonstop. I would go sit in her bed and cry. Sob really. You know that gut wrenching sorrow. But I got over it as we mothers do, and each year became easier (especially when her tongue could be as sharp as ever).
This past year was the easiest one as far as the moving went. She spent her first semester in Italy and living off campus the second semester, she managed to squeeze all she needed into her trusty, battered '95 Corolla and took off for the last haul to Amherst.
Saturday, my family joined many other families -- all so different, mixed up and mixed in -- but all so much alike in our bittersweet joy of witnessing these wee ones we'd known since birth leave the comfortable familiarity of the past four years of their lives for the beckoning future unknown. Scary and exhilarating, leaving us breathless and bewildered. But that's life, isn't it? Congratulations, my darling Molly. May you soar and know your heart's desire someday. You and your brother have always been the stars in my life.