One day about a week or so before we took Girl up to Boston, she, Boy and I were at home together all afternoon. A rare occurrence since her graduation in early June, to be sure. If she wasn’t in Europe, Girl was pretty much out in the street (Oh-oh-oh-oh….yes, a shameless Springsteen reference, sorry) with her friends, trying to soak up every last drop of high school summertime fun she could. But on that afternoon, the three of us were just hanging out, talking, laughing, sharing all sorts of stuff with nothing pressing to do and nowhere we needed to go. And bonding over the new Disney Channel show, “When Girl Meets World”. Have you seen it? If not, you should. It’s great for boys and girls…and also Moms.
Because my mind those days was never far from the whole college packing and prep thing, I casually asked Girl at one point if she planned to take her beloved stuffed lamb, Emma, with her to college. She’d slept with that little lamb tangled up in her arms and hair and blankets since she was a baby. Girl thought about it briefly and then said she’d be leaving Emma at home because she didn’t want to worry about her getting lost or damaged. Quite a few years earlier we had sent Emma to the best stuffed animal doctor we could find on the internets to be re-stuffed and re-sewn and re-dressed because she’d been LOVED so much she was falling apart. Girl was so scared about her getting lost during that operation that we sent Emma back and forth to the doctor via Certified Mail AKA being transported in a locked box. Beloved Emma.
Anyway, a few moments later, Boy walked over to Girl from across the room and said, “Don’t worry, Sis, I will take care of Emma for you while you’re gone.” Leave it to Boy to get it all OUT in the open. Girl burst into tears and then Boy did too. They held each other as they sobbed for several minutes and I watched from my favorite overstuffed chair, my own tears threatening to fall. A few more minutes passed and then we all dried our eyes and went on with our afternoon together, having fun while understanding that things were getting ready to CHANGE in a big way.
That night at bedtime, true to form, Boy said, “Mom, things are never going to be the same again, are they?” And I told him no, not exactly, that it’s going to take some getting used to and also that there are some things that will never change, like the love he shares with his big sister or that this is her home and that she’ll always come back. We talked about it all for a good long while and then as he curled up to go to sleep he said, “I’m never leaving, Mom.” Yeah, I know, buddy.
Here’s Emma in Boy’s bed while Girl is off doing her thing:
Emma’s doing just fine and she misses Girl in a happy way – although she might be wondering when the freaking sleepover is going to be over – just like the rest of us.