Sunday, March 2, 2014

Come Home For Love

You've probably figured this out by now...but, I'm a writer-downer.
Like a photographer, I love to memorize the moment but I use words instead.
I try to freeze the frame.
Save the scent.
Hold the moment close...because whooooosh --
it's gone.

This week-end, I couldn't write it down.
It was too magical.
Too indelible.
Too important.

My journal lay a neglected best friend I couldn't even look at it.
I had to tuck it away.
I have no time for you, little book...only her.

This week-end I got to spend with just my big girl, away at her college, submerged in her world, if only for a moment.
I loved every second!
I felt a bit like a runaway as I kissed my little guys good-bye and relied on the kindess of my sister to watch them after school and the awesomeness of my husband to hang with them all week-end as I boarded a plane.

I tried to mix in with the business travelers...
can you say rookie?
It was obvious I didn't have practice at this...but who cares?

I checked into an adorable little hotel right near campus and texted my love bug.
She was done with class for the day and so I set about running errands and crossing off things on the to-do list with her...
step 1: cut the kryptonite lock on her bike since her key was lost
step 2: get a new bike lock
step 3: get ready for dinner at her sorority
step 4: relax with the girlie :)

We found a super nice locksmith who after a few key questions decided we weren't criminals and was willing to break the bike free.
We meandered and found a bike store and found our lock.
We hung out in her dorm room, meeting people from her floor and listening to the various options for Friday night fun in Eugene...turns out there's quite a few.

We had dinner at her house and got the official tour.
Her sorority house has a laundry-chute and sleeping porches and a real house mom who is way older than me named Char.  
Such a dear, dear lady -- oh the stories she could tell!

And then, in a blink, it was all over and Mary Kate had places to go and I needed to get cozy with my book and I planned to meet her in the morning for (of all things) Zumba!

We had plans to meet in front of the recreation center on campus at 10am.  I show up a few minutes early since I'm not at all sure how Zumba works and was hoping for a cheat sheet.
No one was there.
Doors locked.
Zumba on hold.

Turns out that the rec center is pretty much as slow to open on a Saturday morning as the early morning work out crew is.
These are college students after all and weekends are sleep-in zones.

At 10:05am, a million sorority chicks with their moms show up and here comes my girl too.

We head into this amazing place for exercise and fun and we meet the most adorable Zumba teacher in the world.  She teaches us some steps and holds our hand but mostly she gets us going...
dancing and living the words of these Top 40 songs.

Getting older, I've noticed I'm way more sentimental...does this happen to you?
Seeing all of these girls in their work out gear, their pony tails, their bright shiny smiles standing next to their moms tears sprang to my eyes.
Watching this giant group dance and bounce and move to music made me so teary-eyed I had to go into full 
talk-myself-off-the-ledge mode:

You can do this, Beth.
Stop it.
Mary Kate will not understand why you're crying.
Stop it.
Get it under control.
Dance...enjoy this...hold it close...this is one of a kind.

And so I let that music right into my body.
There were at least 100 other people dancing and moving so I didn't mind if my moves were a bit off.
I danced for all of the moms who aren't healthy enough to dance.
I bounced for all of the daughters who couldn't be there.
I thought of the many many mothers who wished they could dance with their daughters and because of a poisonous relationship or a trauma or a distance they just couldn't.
I thought of my friends without daughters...
and my friends without moms.
While I danced I cried.
And sang.
And rocked it out.
I sent out into the universe praise and love for the moms who were working so hard to be a part of this with their daughters.
I hoped their daughters noticed.
I admired the uber-fit moms but knew I wasn't part of their tribe.
I thanked my body for every single step.
I cajoled my heart...and vowed to be more cardiovascular focused in my exercise routines.
But mostly, I couldn't stop smiling...
watching this daughter of mine dancing and singing and getting down with her bad self.

I thought of the many times she danced around our house, singing it out all in the shower...the Top 40 hits blasting from out of her room and in my car when she was home.

How did it go so fast??

The tears of time passing and recognizing just how brief this all is also came to visit.

Deep breaths, Beth.
Time is up, Beth.
Slow clap it made it though Zumba!

After Zumba and a delicious breakfast we ran to the mall, got some printer ink, and went to a drug store for those essential items that no student wants to spend their precious money on.
After that, it was more hanging out in the dorm.

Full fly-on-the-wall status.
It was so comfy listening to these girls talk and tease and make plans...plans for that night and plans for the next quarter and even plans for next year...all in the space of an hour or two.
So many much to many dreams to chase.

I could have hung around all night...
but they had plans and people to meet and moments to squeeze tight.

Just like that it was time to head home...kiss good-bye...remind myself that it will only be a few more weeks until she's home, dancing under my roof one more time.

In Eugene, I found a cloth bag with the graphic that's on the top of this page.
It stopped me in my tracks:
"See the world, come home for LOVE."

Yep, that's your job, Mary Kate.
Get out there and see the world.
You're doing an awesome job of just that...
but please remember the second half:
Come home for LOVE.

Love is always here.
Always waiting.
Missing you and loving you.
And so very proud of the adventure you're living.
Carpe Diem, Baby Girl.

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