I woke up this morning to an eerie silence. No child asking for the TV on at 6 a.m. in the morning or saying “I’m hungry, mommy.”
See I meant to write yesterday because my daughter left for camp but every time I opened Medium I just couldn’t write.
All my worries were bottled up.
Taking her to the church to head off to church camp was hard. About an hour before we got there she began to get super nervous and anxious just like me (I was hoping that wasn’t going to happen.)
She began to question. “Why did I decide to do this, mommy? Why?” I wondered the same thing. Not that I don’t think she should go but more of where did my baby go and decide to be independent!
I reassured her about the choices she made and to remember that all new experiences are scary at first. I even told her that I was scared. She asked me why I would be scared and I told her simply this is a new adventure for both you and mommy.
That seemed to ease her mind but once we got in the car and I began to drive more nerves kicked in. I realized then she definitely had picked up some of my coping mechanisms. She put herself to sleep in the car until we got to church.
When I am anxious. That is usually a go to move for me to calm down. I am not ignoring that anxiety is still there but it helps my brain settle and evaluate what is happening.
Saying goodbye was painful. Not going to lie about that. Thankfully my parents had come along to say bye too so that helped and her uncle is the pastor and she loves him. He was there to greet her nervous smile with a high five and a hug.
I am so thankful for her children’s leaders because they are just freaking awesome with kids and know exactly the words to help them through something.
We got are goodbyes in and lots of hugs with reassuring words of encouragement.
She went off to her kid meeting and we walked to the car. I sat in the car and watched her get in to her leader’s car. She was teary eyed and upset. I wanted to get out of the car but I stopped myself.
I reminded myself this is her adventure and she chose to go to camp. These growing pains hurt but she will move through it. I hope.
I was calmer than normal. I felt peace knowing she was going to a place where she would have lots of fun she just didn’t know it yet. I remember going to camp my first time. I hated not knowing what was ahead. So I get where she is at.
I decided to drive away before her car left. I think it was better that way. Mainly for me. I was driving after all and I had to be able to drive.
I kept breathing real deep on the way home. Pretty sure my parents were well aware of me trying to hold everything in until I reached home.
That’s exactly what happened. I walked in the door went to our room, saw her bed and could no longer hold it in.
It’s quiet here I thought to myself.
Then I started to think about all the times I asked my daughter to quiet down the last couple days.
All I wanted now was noise from her playing or watching TV. I miss her.
I got quiet too. My husband kept trying to talk to me and I just wanted to be quiet.
My emotions overwhelmed me. I shutdown. I was afraid of shutting down.
See when you have anxiety not all reactions are panic attacks. Some cause you to shutdown because your brain needs you to as well as your body.
I began to pray.
I couldn’t take the quiet so I took my mom shopping. I had to get my mind up and my sadness from not seeing my daughter in her room playing.
My husband and I were supposed to celebrate a friend’s birthday and I had convinced myself that I would be a buzzkill. But finally got the courage to go.
We actually had a really nice time. I thought about my daughter time to time but I decided to be present. Also a whiskey sour may have helped with my nerves.
After we left we wanted ice cream at our favorite place. It was a good decision at the time that quickly turned into a bummer. This is my daughter’s favorite place to get ice cream and the more I waited for my nitro ice cream the more sad I became.
I tried to put on my OK face but of course my husband of 14 years saw right through it. Damn it. I was trying so hard not to look down. He knew I was sad and he said he was too. We sat there and ate our ice cream just staring at each other in quiet.
It’s quiet here.
Came home. That sucked. Occupied myself with grading for a class I am teaching. Spent time watching late night talk show hosts and finally fell asleep.
I am shocked I slept through the night. Didn’t expect that one with anxiety and all. It was probably the whiskey sour.
Got up with no noise of asking for food or TV on. Sat and stared at her bed.
It’s quiet here, I thought, as I realize more and more how grateful I should be when I get to hear her noise.
Growing pains suck. Maybe this growing thing isn’t just for her but a good reminder for me to cherish things I take for granted.
It’s too quiet here now.