The first time I heard this saying was on an episode of That Girl when Mrs. Hollinger was bemoaning the idea of losing her beloved son Donald to That Girl, Ann Marie. I wondered then (and I wonder now) how much, if any, truth there was to it. As the mom of two boys, I'm hoping not much. But as the mom of a newly-married daughter, I'm clinging pretty hard to the second part these days. Em and Tuck had been together for nearly eight years when they got married in August, so we were pretty used to them as a couple, but I was aware, if not quite prepared, for the reality that married is different than dating. The first big adjustment came right away--the week of their honeymoon. In the months, weeks, and days leading up to the wedding, I probably talked more with Em than I had since the days she and I were home together before she started school. But when the newlyweds pulled out of our driveway on August 21st, things went from famine to feast in a hurry. Of course, that's exactly as it should be, but that doesn't mean I wasn't feeling the withdrawal. As the week progressed, I knew I had to stick to the rules I set for myself when each of the kids left for college: let them initiate the texting or calling, and even then, keep my replies short. A new school year started for me on the Monday after the wedding, so I kept pretty busy with that and with sorting through the mountain of leftover wedding china and decorations. But keeping busy isn't the same thing as being happy, and I'll admit it was kind of a tough week for Steve and me--we were missing our girl. But we got through its and contact with the honeymooners has long-since been restored: we get texts, calls, and even snapchats pretty regularly. So things have more or less returned to normal. But not exactly. Although, according to the saying, Em will be our daughter all of her life, she's no longer just our daughter, Emily Wendell; she is now Tucker's wife, Emily Krauza. And it's a lot more than just a name change (though even that is going to take some getting used to!). The landscape has been subtly rearranged, the boundaries have shifted. And I need to respect the new lines, to step back a bit. I know that from now on, when some happy thing or some sad thing or really any big thing happens, Tuck will be--and should be--Em's first call, her first listener. And although I thought I'd come to terms with this before, I need to face up to the truth that Em's old room (and Ben's and Darton's) is just that: her old room. She has a new home and a new life with Tucker that is separate from our home and our life. And not only that, she has a new extended family now too. So I need to do what I've been trying to do all along with this blog: loosen my grip on my kids and on the past, as I work through the changes and try, once again, to find my equilibrium in this ever-changing life.
|Photo by Nicole Mason|