a little maudlin…

Oh, the changes the past 15 months have brought ! =) While not every day was lovely, or even less than challenging, I have no reservations in saying I love my new life. It is small, imperfect, frayed a bit around the edges… but it is MINE ! As long as I continue to water and weed, tend and cultivate, new growth forms, beautiful color and life and possibility where once there was only hard and dusty earth.

But when you live a certain way for a certain number of years, you get used to the way things are… what is expected of you, and while you may not be happy in the role, there is a certain satisfaction that comes along with doing it, and doing it well.

I have looked forward to my foxling going to school for some time now, and I am suitably, tail-waggingly, bum-wigglingly excited for my dear girl ! However, that did not stop me from feeling a twinge this morning as she stepped out into the cold air, dark sky above her, puffs of breath around her face like a fallen halo…

She is such a big girl, 14 going on 35… but she was so tiny this morning. Her alarm got her up at 0500, enabling her time to get her unruly hair under control, eat a nutritious breakfast and Facebook for a bit before she had to go… she is not one who enjoys the rush, and seemed happy with her small routines this morning. Even as her mumma, I would not have been able to tell she was at all nervous until right before she threw on her coat. Turning to me, white sparkle hat akimbo on her curls, she patted at her hips and waist, pulled her shirt straight and asked in a small voice “How do I look, mum ?” Instead of swiping in for a huge hug, I critically studied her for a moment, and replied “Well, sweet girl, I think you look like a million bucks ! Love those boots on you, and your shirt is mad cool”… I must have struck the right chord because that huge grin I love bloomed across her face and she hugged me and slipped out the door…

I know this is something those of you with kids have probably been doing since they were 4 or so, but this is uncharted territory for me. I am unused to not being at the helm, as well as out of my element entirely. I am leaving her in the hands of a guidance counselor who is barely past the pimples stage himself, with only 5 bucks in her pocket and promises of meeting her for coffee at the Starbucks across the street from her campus at 2:30 this afternoon… GAH ! =)

She is so brave, and unstoppable, this one… she just shoves her fears into her backpack under her notebooks and inhaler, water bottle and snack-sized bag of pretzels, and walks out the door, to get on a freezing bus for the first time in her life, listening to her iPod, head bopping to and fro as she skip-walked to the end of the drive…

I now have time to do my own schoolwork during the day, which is a novelty that leaves me pacing instead of typing furiously on the first paper due at the beginning of the week. I know part of my general weirdness today comes from the multitude of OTC and prescription drugs coursing thru my veins this morning, but it is shocking to have no child to teach and tend to. Good but bizarre, maybe like a bacon donut… ?!

She spent her last day of freedom yesterday with her father in Boston at the Gardner Museum and eating amazing food. When she got home, I had a bouquet of flowers, a card and balloon waiting for her. She enjoyed herself immensely, and loves her flowers, bright and happy in their red vase on her desk. She feels grown up, in control of herself, and I think she will have a wonderful, if overwhelming first day. When I asked what she is most looking forward to, her face it up and she replied “Everything, mum, but mostly being in the Fencing Club!” Go get ’em, Inigo Montoya…



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