The post that is not the post, but is about the post that is supposed to be posted.

I’ve been attempting for a couple of days to post about our experiences with prom dress shopping this year; how shopping for a senior prom dress differs from shopping for a junior prom dress, how we were disappointed to discover the boutique we loved so much last year has undergone some managerial changes, how strange it was to be shopping without my mom…

I’m struggling with that post.

For one thing, I can’t get my photos to load.  There actually are not a lot of photos to load; I didn’t take as many this year as last, in part because she didn’t try on as many dresses, and in part because I wasn’t sending them to my mother for opinions, and, therefore, only took pics of the best dresses, only took the pictures Hayden requested.  The post needs the pics, but the damn computer won’t load the pics, so the post won’t flow.

My mother, though only physically here twice, has always been a part of our dress shopping: homecomings, winter balls, graduations, proms: all of them, all of the dresses, all of the shopping, we have included her either through texted photos or FaceTime.

And, she always bought the shoes.

It was bittersweet to be there without her.  I worked overtime to stay in the moment, and to enjoy the time with Hayden, but I missed my Mom–both in real time and in future losses.  She won’t be there when we shop for Anna’s dresses, and she won’t be there when we shop for wedding dresses.

Yet, she was there.  I know she was there.  We are all adjusting to a new manner of her being there, but she was, she is.  And, I know she loves this year’s dress.

These Days

Steve is working on the bathroom remodel; there’s crashing and banging and sawing and drilling and hammering and swearing filling the house.  Hayden is doing her nails and otherwise prepping for homecoming while her music volume constantly increases to cover the crashing and banging filling the house.  Anna is drawing a “Welcome October” picture for me in my bullet journal.  I told her a simple sketch would be sufficient, but she is an artist, and nothing for her is ever sufficient; it must be perfect.  And, I am researching a new book idea.  There are two dogs at my feet; one because she is always at my feet when I am in my office, and the other because she is terrified by the banging and crashing filling the house.  It’s raining.  That will ruin the homecoming pictures.  Otherwise, it’s a pretty perfect Saturday in the fall.  There’s spaghetti sauce in the crock pot, simmering away, filling the house.

Steve and I just celebrated our ninetieth wedding anniversary, and I wonder, so often, how it is that we got here, to this place, these weekends, that I so dearly love.  Sometimes it feels like such a long ride, and other times I think we are still at the beginning.  We are the among the lucky ones, I know this.  We’ve had plenty of bumps and bruises along this journey, we’ve suffered some great losses, but we have never faltered, we have never doubted our love for one another.  Many of our friends have divorced or almost divorced, a few of those divorces quite shocking, and each time we wonder how it is that a marriage can get to that point, each time we are so thankful that we don’t know the answer.

I know I sound a little, or maybe even a lot, self-righteous.  But, I truly know that our success so far has as much to do with luck as it does with our hard work.  I know that it could all fall apart tomorrow, that some unforeseen event could shake us, some minute shift in the universe could rock us to our core.  I know how blessed we are to have these moments, this family, these Saturdays.  I take none of it for granted, and I do, I honestly do, wonder how we got her so relatively unscathed.

Because these days?

These days are the days that sustain me.  These little days with my little family.  I am such a lucky woman.

 

 

 

 

 

Senior Year

This beautiful girl started her Senior year of high school last week.

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She was very patient while I took several photos of her before she drove herself to school for the first time ever, oh my heart!

Mom!  Stoooop!  I’m gonna be late!

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So, I stopped.

For a minute.

Then I chased her down the driveway.

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And, so, it begins.  My baby girl’s Senior year of high school.  So many milestones coming up this year, and I want her to enjoy every single minute.  I’ll try not to let her see me sobbing in the corner.

Not a river in Egypt

We’ve been a little lax about preparing for Hayden to go college.

I’d love to blame it on her being our first born, and how new we are at this whole college thing, how we don’t have any idea what we are doing or supposed to be doing, so we have naturally fallen a little behind, but I think it may have something more to do with the fact that she is only SIXTEEN years old and still my BABY.

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Denial. De. Ni. Al.

I mean, it’s not like we haven’t seen it approaching.  She was a junior last year and she did all the junior year milestoney things that juniors do in their junior years: she went to the prom, she took her SATs, she got her braces removed from her teeth.  For the past year we’ve made impromtu stops at various schools; driving around the campuses to check them out, engaging in conversations about whether or not they are located in areas that she can see herself living. We’ve attended college nights and a couple of open houses.  We’ve added terms to our vocabularies.

Common Application.  FASFA.  Admissions Requirements.  Student loans vs. parental responsibility.  Financial aid.  Merit Scholarships.

We’ve added those terms, but, beyond that, we have ignored them, more or less, completely.  Those are things we have to worry about in the upcoming months.  Not this month.  Never this month.

Denial came up and slapped me in the face today.

We’ve had a couple of college visits this week.  Real, actual, college visits with deadline discussions and personal tours where I found myself asking a thousand questions about the schools and the buildings and the programs and the meal plans…when all I was truly needing to know is how they plan to take care of my little girl; how am I ever going to be able to leave her on her own?

This is it.  In twenty-nine days Hayden starts her senior year of high school, and we begin the countdown, the last year of having her home with us, safely under our roof, every night.  I’m simultaneously so excited for her and sad for me (and Steve, and Anna).  I know this is her time to soar, to go out and make her mark on the world, and I truly can’t wait to watch who she becomes, but I am SO NOT READY to let go of her.

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I know we aren’t the first or the only ones to ever go through all of this.  I know it is normal and necessary.  And, I even know we will find ourselves on the other side of it someday, but damn if it doesn’t still suck now.