|courtesy of Katie Daisy Art|
One day after I came home from dropping her back off at college to begin her sophomore year,
I steeled myself for the pain of the fridge.
Like the ice bucket challenge, I knew it was going to take my breath away, make me cringe, force me to do something I really didn't want to do at all.
I was going to have to deal with the ingredients...
You see, my little chickadee likes to bake.
She bakes when she's bored.
She bakes when she's nervous or stressed-out.
She bakes for no reason...just to get a nice smell in the house.
Someday, she is going to make her own family very very happy.
Now, you understand my thickening middle.
When you next see me, just smile with understanding and kindness...please?
In that fridge, I found ricotta.
(For the record, never, in my adult life have I purchased ricotta.
Mary Kate has purchased more in her teen life than most non-Italians have in their whole life.)
For Ina Garten's Ricotta Orange Pound Cake...or maybe that's Giada's recipe?
I found chocolate frosting...left over from Patrick's Heart Day cake.
I found a whole tray of Lonna's insane pumpkin bars only partially eaten.
We are human after all -- our stomachs are finite.
What's a mom to do?
I lingered over the ingredients but knew they needed to go.
She's not going to be back until Thanksgiving...and by then it will just be gross.
Better to dive in right now, peel off the band-aid and face the truth.
She's gone -- for awhile.
Four plates at our table, not five.
No more blaring country music when I start my car.
No more moments of friction for dirty dishes, underwear lounging in places it shouldn't or endless TV marathons.
I know. I know.
It's what you want and hope and pray for.
This is a very good problem to have.
She's found her spot.
It's just that I'm not in it.
My girlie and I go round and round.
Ours is not the companionable, mellow, obedient, docile relationship that some mothers and daughters seem (from the outside) to have.
Mary Kate and I have contentious, fractious moments.
But she trusts me with her confidences.
She shares herself.
She makes room for me...and if that isn't the biggest gift ever for a mom,
well then I can't think what it could be.
We just want a tiny, little bit of room.
A funny phone call.
A silly facebook inbox.
A shout out.
An Instagram shot, tagged with a hilarious hashtag.
Any tiny morsel.
Cause you know why?
You've got the whole kit and caboodle from us over here.
You have our whole heart.
Our full attention.
Our breath inhales and exhales with thoughts of you.
All the time.
Even when you think we aren't looking...
So baby girl, while I know you are flying high.
Send a feather or two to your ground crew.
We already miss you and it's been two days.
Be funny -- that's a for sure.
Be gentle -- to others AND yourself.
But don't forget to just be.
Just sit in that wonderful quiet and know yourself.
You're pretty great.
Go show the world.
Your fan club awaits.