Again. Honestly, my sleep habits are bipolar (which makes total sense). They switch between sleeping twelve hours a night or less than two.
I find that when I am working and concentrating hard on a regular routine, with extra brain stimulus thrown in, I get home in a state of almost total exhaustion. My workday requires a lot of concentration – navigating a big vehicle around tight city traffic whilst talking, and in between these things also interacting with passengers and completing paperwork and social media tasks, means that by the time I drive home I feel like I am impaired in some way. I have usually prepped dinner beforehand and I last just long enough to cook it, serve it, shower and fall into bed. Most nights I am asleep by 8 pm. I go down as if I am poleaxed.
But days off are different. If I have something on my mind, then I will be unable to stay asleep. Tonight, that is the case.
Tomorrow evening my firstborn leaves home for the first time. Well, it isn’t actually the first time but it is the first time as an adult, making adult decisions entirely on her own, and it is definitely the last time she will be living with her parents in the familiar parent/child relationship.
She is going to Canada. She has wanted to go for years (I am not sure exactly why but then I have always wanted to go and I don’t know why either) and she has made it part of her life plan for the last five years. She worked towards finishing off her hairdressing apprenticeship and then worked towards saving money. She went through the horrible hoops necessary to obtain a two year working visa, entirely on her own. She tramped the streets to find a second job as a barmaid (with no experience) because she thought a hospitality trade would make it easier to find work over there. She applied for and landed a job at one of the premier ski resorts before she had even left. I am so proud of her that my heart wants to burst out of my chest.
She has grown into the most delightful, wonderful, compassionate person I could have ever hoped for. Our relationship during the teenage years was tricky but neither of us every gave up on the other and I never took it personally. It seems so sad that just when she has matured into the person that she is today, the person that I delight in spending time with, she will no longer be around. But I know that is the nature of parenting. You raise them to be the best person they can be and then you loose them to take those charms and skills to the rest of the wide world. If you’re lucky, they may flutter back to bestow them on you once in a while.
I don’t want her to go because her leaving will make another hole in my heart; another loss and sadness in a year that has already been way too hard. Family is so dear to me right now. But she needs to go and I am cheering her on with every beat of my dishonest heart.
And that is why I am awake in the wee small hours, missing already the daughter who hasn’t yet departed.