Here she is...my baby. Message to her sisters: Yes, you were and are alllll my babies. It's just that she REALLY is my baby, THE baby of the family. Here she is holding one of the boxes she has packed for her college trip. This is it. This Labor Day weekend, her father and I will be driving to Chicago to drop her off at DePaul University. It's starting to sink in...I can feel it. I've avoided it all year long...sort of .
All of her senior year in high school, with each passing event...each choir concert, the fabulous Madrigal Dinner, the musical...she has turned to me and said "Mom, did you cry?" I've sort of looked at her wondering what answer is it she wants? I cried...sort of...a little...if tearing up just a bit is crying. I worried that just tearing up would disappoint her since she has seen me profusely cry at some of her older sisters' performances. I never really answered her directly. So Mary, it isn't that those events didn't mean as much or touch me as much. Imagine how I felt playing Beauty & the Beast as you stood up there singing it. I maintained my composure but there were the few that dripped down my face as I held back so I could read my music. I think it is just that I had to remain stoic so as to protect myself until it was time.
I've been involved in the middle school or high school for 12 years now. I've seen my daughters perform on the high school stage as well as community theater. I've seen one or more of them sing at Carnegie Hall in NYC. I've been to Prague and Chesky Krumlov (a great little medieval town in the Czech Republic), Salzburg, Vienna, and Gumpoldskirchen (a great little wine town outside of Vienna. I've seen them sing on the steps of the Vienna Opera house, and in a salt mine in Salzburg. I've traveled to Peru and stood in Machu Pichu. I've seen them have lead roles or great parts in musicals....Hello Dolly, Bye Bye Birdie, The King and I, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, I Remember Mama, Down by the Ocean, Harvey, Jekyl and Hyde, You Can't Take it With You, Our Town, and loads more plays, including those when they were children in community theater.
It's over. It's starting to sink in. I will miss them performing. I hope I will see it again. What great memories. I'm not sad it's over in one way...they've had so many opportunities. I promoted those abilities, their involvement in the arts, since they were children. I took them to plays, and even when they were little I brought them up on movie musicals. (I was always shocked when they would come home from school and tell me that their peers had not hear of this movie or that when it was so familiar and so a part of our lives.)
Anyway, do you possible know how much you are loved...all of you? So, the baby will be leaving this weekend, but she's not so very far away and it will give us an excuse to visit Chicago. The others are well on their way...one finishing up undergrad and possibly planning on law school, one an English teacher, one pursuing a degree in Anthropology, and now the baby.
I think the dam is about to burst. I'll let you know. But that's ok. It's a passage. I've done what I am supposed to do. There are more good things to come...namely, some freedom for me. Don't worry, I'm not trying to be a parent who behaves as if other people don't love their children as much as I love mine. I just want to acknowledge that I am incredibly blessed as a mother.
(One last note...look for some blogs and pictures and stories now and then about their growing up years.)