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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Count Down

It’s a big year in our family. College applications have been submitted, a couple of acceptances received and we wait for further news. Every week brings an ending…a “last first day of high school,” followed by a “last Homecoming,” and a  "last football game" at which she'll play in the pep band.  My husband and I look at our daughter and say, “I wonder where you will be at this time next year.”


In December 2011, it’s likely she’ll be taking final exams about now—which made it more fun yesterday that we could step out for a shopping expedition to pick up materials for homemade gifts. As always, she teased and or disagreed with me; “Mom, you always stop right in the middle of the aisle,” and “That ribbon is fine, you don’t need to look for more,” but it is all in good fun; we found ourselves giggling more than once. The laughter is what I will miss the most, I think, next year.

And this. We stood side-by-side in the kitchen when we got home, measuring out the ingredients for homemade hot cocoa, chuckling at my bad math. (Heads up, a wet cup is eight ounces; a dry cup, much less. We have a lot of leftovers.) She measured the ingredients; I sifted them into a bowl. Every once in a while, we’d bump hips, jiggle an elbow, spill some sugar or dry milk on the counter. But in the end, the filled jars shined and the plaid ribbons she tied stuck out at jaunty angles. I typed the labels and she attached them in a way that I wouldn’t know how.

We moved the containers to the dining room table, the afternoon having delivered a successful joint effort, a mutual accomplishment; a shared achievement; feelings I’ve been lucky to experience for just about every minute of every day, over the last seventeen years.

Oh, and if I've left you craving hot cocoa,  you can get the recipe for a yummy single-serving version here.

11 comments:

glnroz said...

the holidays are headed this way, aren't they? Such good times to look forward to. Next year will be good too.

KarenG said...

What a lovely post. My husband and I often say this as well about our youngest-- the last this or that-- and now we are empty nesters! That's a FIRST for us.

Robin said...

You are breathing it all in. That is good. I know it is bittersweet. Focus on the sweet.

Mary Vaughn said...

Liza, Hold on to these memories. They will take you through the "missing times."

Colette said...

Ahhh, the last year before college -- I remember that feeling -- so many 'lasts' -- the last football game, the last football game, the last awards ceremony...

So here's what comes next: She will make a decision about what school to attend and you will all be relieved that that phase is over (you can breathe again). Then you'll start planning for her going off to school -- what she needs for her dorm room, what she needs to learn (laundry? set up a debit card?) and then you'll take her to school. But...

Before you know it she'll be home again... for a school break, Thanksgiving, Christmas... and it'll be like she was never away.

Enjoy!

Helen Ginger said...

I'm so glad you blogged about this. You can save this post and read it years from now and smile. Or save it and give it to her in a booklet when she becomes a mother.

Arlee Bird said...

They grow up so fast don't they? I remember the hustle bustle and it went by in a blur and now I'm seeing grandchildren coming. Wow! The time flies by and my wings are starting to get tired.

Lovely post.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Elana Johnson said...

Yum. Hot chocolate. :)

Lydia K said...

Sweet post (literally!)
And now I am dying for come cocoa...

Wine and Words said...

It is difficult, when they move out. But there is a new fulfillment and in my estimation a freedom to step from behind motherhood and let my "I must be a shining example" guard down. In this, I have found a new laughter with my boys. I have become vulnerable and transparent with them, in ways I wasn't when they were home. The texts, the calls...hilarious. Laughter still reigns, in new ways.

Thanks for stopping by my blog Liza. Your time to read is a gift.

Mimi said...

What lovely shared time. You describe it beautifully.
I had a shared afternoon shopping trip today,and I treasured every second of it.