Right now she’s here and I’m up early on a Sunday morning:
She has her own room but we’ve been having a sleepover. This is the FIRST TIME since she WENT AWAY TO COLLEGE that she’s spent a night with me! TWO nights! Can you tell I’m excited?
For years I’ve had this weird rule that I couldn’t go more days without seeing her than however old she was. It probably didn’t come about until I married R when she was 7 and we honeymooned in Hawaii 7 days because the first year and a half of her life she was attached to my boob and the next couple years, to my hip. I don’t believe I spent one single night away from her until her dad and I separated and she’d spend two nights in a row with him. Which was fine as she was then 3 and a half.
Andrea HATED when R and I went out of town without her and I hated her being so upset, but somehow the age-rule eased the guilt trip during the trip, cause boy could Andrea lay those on thick. When I had the amazing opportunity to go to India with R I thought I may have to decline (the rule, not the trip. get real), but we ended up leaving one day after she turned 14. Perfect!
All summer long before college I drilled it into her head that now it’s her responsibility, too. We can’t go more than 18 days. She was hassled. What happened to my guilt trippy girl? Suddenly now you don’t care when you ever see your mother again? Suddenly you’re worried about keeping the rule?
“Well what if I go on a missions trip. What if I join the peace corps.”
Yeah, yeah, we’ll cross that ocean when we come to it. Point is, you’re only a half hour away from me at present, dear girl. And your mommy needs to check in with you.
At first I went down there every weekend. Or she’d come by here. She never spent the night though, but I just had to see her… had to look into those eyes and make sure things were really okay. Last Sunday I was going to go for a visit but my car broke down. Monday I would get it in the shop (for who knows how long) and that would be Day 16.
I knew Andrea couldn’t come up – some stupid paper she was writing – and with her very full class schedule and activities it’s just always easier for me to cruise down there. I sighed about the Rule and thought well it’s been a good run.
Tuesday the car still wasn’t done and I called her and said I didn’t know if I’d have it to come down that night, either. Know what she said?
“But mommy, I’m not 19 yet! That would be 19 days, I’m not 19!”
And there’s my little girl. She may put on a tough act about not caring that I am crazy about seeing her, she may be too shy to admit her inner desires for my attention, but she secretly wants to be made over, cuddled and adored. I know this because it is exactly the way that I am. I try to hide how much I really care.
Only not to her. Never to her.
The car DID get done and I saw her on the night of Day 17. I cried from excitement. That was too long! It’s not like it was any big deal – I just took her some socks, met some more of her friends, looked into her eyes and made sure things were really okay.
And then she decided to spend the whole upcoming weekend at my place.
Friday night we made tons of these:
Had her best friend since Kindergarten over and watched old home movies for hours.
This was while watching their dead on Napoleon Dynamite Dance from when they were 13:
Here they are in Kindergarten when Jennifer couldn’t stop petting Andrea’s angel wings.
Saturday Andrea went to visit her dad, came back and we watched Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and the Rhianna interview about Chris Brown. We really wanted to see that movie “Precious” but it’s not in Kansas City, yet. We had a heart-to-heart about matters of the heart and took a nap. She said “I like being home.” Thing is she never even really lived here but a month but maybe home is where the mommy is?
At least for now and I’ll take it.