It happened suddenly last week – just like that. Susannah told us on Tuesday night that she might be moving out and on Wednesday it was no longer a possibility, it was a reality and it was happening in three days time.
Gulp! Was I ready for this? Not really. I thought she would stay at home until the end of the year, so I had mentally primed myself to face this then – not now. No not now.
When Susannah came home from work last Wednesday, she had a smile from ear to ear – she was excited and happy at her decision to move in with two very good friends into an apartment nearby. In fact she can see the roof of my sister’s house from her balcony, so she has not gone far. How could I not share her joy? How could I crush her dreams of a new beginning with the typical “Mum” questions? So, I shut my mouth and gave her a big hug. Johnny told me later that he could see the shock and sadness that I was feeling inside – and yes, he is right, those feelings are there, but I am proud that my daughter is longing to fly the coop and be independent.
Ever since that day almost 22 years ago when I first held her in my arms, I knew that one of my goals as a mother was to raise a young woman who could live independently from me – wisely and well. Well I have tried and done my best and now she is ready to leave.
We helped her move last Saturday and it was crazy and chaotic. Somehow, she and her friends have acquired most of the essential items for living in an apartment together. They will get a fridge and washing machine today. What I will not miss is the clutter associated with Susannah – shoes, bags, DVDs, CDs, books and her clothes – they are leaving too.
The boys are most curious as to what will happen to her room. They have both told me that they are sure it will become my sewing room. Johnny has told me that this would be great as he would no longer have to listen to the whir of the sewing machine while trying to watch TV. When I responded to them that I quite liked looking out the window of the family room, Michael reminded me of the silver birch outside their bedroom windows. “After all Mum, this is what sold me on being happy to have my room when we moved here – you told me I could look out at that tree” – that was thirteen years ago and he still remembers? It is a beautiful silver birch.
For now, I live in a male dominated household. How do I feel about that? Ok really, they are chatty, listen to me talk about girly stuff such as my quilts, they make me cups of tea – they are good company – all of them. Susannah is not chatty, I have to do things with her and we go to the gym together – three times each week – so I will see her then and when she comes home for dinner on Monday nights. She has not gone far – yet!