Saturday, March 5, 2016

Sometimes I really miss this girl!

"You are one brave, mama!"

Well, I get this phrase a lot...weekly to be exact...  Seriously, people say this to me all the time.  I am not sure if it is supposed to reassure me or make me reevaluate life...but sometimes it unnerves me a bit. 

6 months ago we dropped our 15 year old off in Manhattan to live on her own.  Would this have seemed like the craziest thing to think about when she was born?  Yes. I had no intentions of any of my kids leading anything, but a normal life.  But God created Hailey for this purpose.  I know it.  He molded her from the beginning to acclimate to change--to be easy going, to live an extraordinary life.  So when she did turn 15 and God opened this door again to NYC for the year....she followed. The timing was right.  We didn't really even think twice about it.  If you want to call that bravery, then ok.  But it's not bravery on my account. It's hers.  When you have a child that God gifts in some way, you have to let them go...we never doubted that.

But I digress. 

As the months have passed, it has gotten harder not having her in our home. I am quite certain we have some unrest now amongst the sibs because we don't have the peace of Hailey. Seriously, the girl just exudes peace.  Even though she was always busy when she was here, just her presence set a presidence to her sibs.  They miss her leadership--that person they looked up to set the right example.  But honestly...why I write this today, is because I miss her.  I find little things in my day that remind me of her.  Yet, at the end of the day there is no ballerina walking into our house tired after a busy day.  She lives in a dorm room in a high rise in the middle of Manhattan.  She takes the Subway to NYC public school every day...twice a day.  She goes back and forth to ballet class in the same high rise.  She eats in a cafeteria in that high rise three times a day.  Sometimes I forget this and I still set a place for her at the table.  Even if her place is empty there is always a placemat there.  Our home is made for 7, not 6.  I know she is where she should be. I do have a peace about that. But there are times...Halloween, V-day, Nutcracker time, birthdays...where we just feel that hole without her in our family even more.  We are definitely making the best of it...we were writing her a postcard almost every day, but stamps get expensive so we have cut back. We text every day.  We send pics, emails, videos.  We facetime twice a week.  But none of it is the same as having your child under your roof.  Her life will probably never be the same again.  Her time at home will be 4-6 weeks total per year (she will basically move from NYC to Boston this year).  What 15-16 year old is only home a month of the entire year?  That really is crazy when you think about it.  Only the most mature and independent of children can do that.  How did we get one of those?  Somehow we did.  This is our reality.  I do embrace it most of the time...but sometimes I just want the mundane-ness back.  I want all my kids in my family pictures (sorry, cardboard Hailey head ain't cutting it!)...I want all my kids here for family movie night...I want all my kids in the van on the way to church with us.  Sometimes it's just the little things that remind me we are "minus one".  I know these days are inevitable for all.  At 18 most go leave for college.  Mine just went a little early to fulfill her dream.  I am grateful for this every day, but my mama's heart misses that kid sometimes.  I miss watching her dance (she has her first performance on March 14 and I will not be there...it is her first performance I have missed).  Next week she is inducted into the SAB Honor's Society. I will not be there.  She will turn Sweet Sixteen on her own in the Big Apple the week after. I have never missed a birthday, but I will miss this big one.  I am a mom who is always there for kids...but never did I think this extraordinary life would present itself and I could not be there in this psychical sense.  I know Hailey understands (and honestly she probably is happy to not have me there snapping pics and doting all over her :)), but I hope she knows how much I think of her every day and how much I wish I could transport my body to her her city to see these little and big moments in her life. 

This "brave mama" puts on a brave face, but the plain truth of it all...my heart will always have a void in it without all my kids under one roof.  And I miss the bejeebers (is that a word?) out of my Hailey!  I look forward to Easter weekend when we are whole again for a week.

She will always be my little girl....


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