Just this week, one of my friends posted that she no longer has 4 children in the single digits. She ended with… ‘How did this happen?!’ And here I am just past the 4 teenagers stage – with one who’s 20!! And it feels like they are my children still – but not – at the same time.
When I drove down to see Jessi for the weekend at her college, she introduced me to ‘her new people’ -her new housemates, her new college friends, her new friends at church, and her new co-workers.
Oh and we had fun! We rode the sky train and I’m sure there wasn’t a person there who didn’t know it was new to me. I wasn’t uncomfortable or nervous (except on the escalators on the way to the platform – but I am definitely improving with those). I just was having too much fun. As we were climbing on and getting a seat, I heard a band tuning up. I asked Jessi, “What is that?” “What?” she answered. “That band… ” and I hummed the note I was hearing. Then they changed chords a few times and I followed along with my humming. They were almost in tune now and I figured there was some dignitary they were getting ready to meet at the station. (Yes – I’ve watched too many ‘Little House on the Prairie’ episodes.) Then the sky train beeped its 1-4-8-1 cadence and we were off. At the next stop, I heard the band again and I figured the train must be circling around a central area. I called Jessi’s attention to it again. She heard it this time and smiled. “Mom… that’s the brakes of the train.” She was right, of course. This was her new space. But, now that I’ve said this, I dare you to ride the sky train in Vancouver without hearing that band tuning up. [If you can’t figure out the chord progression of the cadence of the brakes – just ask Jess or me. We music geeks spent a good portion of our time after that figuring it out and wishing Caleb was there to speed things along.]
Then it started to sink in. She has new people. She has new transport and new cafes and a new life that she is creating, piecing together. More importantly she has a new life that I am NOT piecing together. You see that’s different. I used to have quite a hand in who was pieced into my children’s lives -who we had over to play, which families came for dinner, which shows they could watch , who I would drive my children to go see. It used to be me that decided these things. And yes- that has been changing gradually for some time now. But there’s no ignoring it when you are being introduced to your daughter’s new life.
And you know? It felt OK. It felt great, actually. I loved having her show me around. I loved walking to the lake ‘that felt closer on her bus route’ and experiencing the beauty of her new place. I loved seeing her dive in to her responsibilities and I loved eating her groceries.
But I especially loved having coffee with her. Yes – we nearly got lost getting there. Yes, the people serving the coffee were late opening the shop and flew in all apologies and bustle. But we got to sit and sip some the best coffee and hot chocolate that we have had. We shazam’d a song. We FaceTime’d with Jeff. But mostly we just sipped and soaked in the moments together.