Life seems to be in fast forward mode at the moment and I've got to admit - it's scaring the crap out of me!!!
Not only are parents getting older - and this really was brought home with Mum's recent accident and time in hospital but Miss Mac has suddenly gone from a school girl with braces on her teeth to a gorgeous young woman planning her future.
A future that doesn't include me!!!
It scares me ...
I know, I KNOW all that 'give them roots and wings' stuff - I know it and I really hope I've managed it. I know I've done my very best but I'm just not ready for it dammit!
We've been looking at Universities and in just over a year she will be heading off to a (hopefully) exciting new life but I don't think I'm ready for it.
I've been a hands on Mum since just before my 18th Birthday, that's over 30 years, it's who I am and yet, in a few short months, it's NOT who I will be ...
I'm feeling a bit lost already.
SD sees it as an exciting new beginning for us as a couple and I do get that. I mean, we can pretty much do as we like right now as Miss Mac is old enough to take care of herself if we go away for a weekend or something but this will be different and as SD says, 'we have plans!'
It's an exciting new beginning for Miss Mac too, a time to find her place in the world, make new friends, have fun and start to build for her future. I know all that so why does it all fill me with a sense of panic and dread?
I'm so glad I can say that out loud here. I can't really explain it to SD. He hasn't had children of his own and although he is a great role model for Miss Mac and does everything (in fact MORE than I could have hoped for) for Miss Mac, he doesn't have that same bond that you get with either your own children or even a child that you have brought up as your own. I know he cares for her but he has only been in her life for a few short years so he does remember and look forward to a time where his role is slightly more hands off.
I can't say it to Miss Mac, these are my anxieties to deal with. Her job is to be excited and to look forward. I'm sure she will have a few anxieties of her own and MY job is to help her through them not add to them.
You know the really stupid thing that's bothering me most?
I was checking the website of her preferred Uni and took a look at the list of things they recommend they bring with them. One was mould cleaner ...
I hate the thought of her living in a place with mould in the bathroom or kitchen. I have my own battle with it due to my bathroom being single skinned and although I've pretty much eradicated it there is still the odd outbreak.
Will she clean it off??? Doubtful, the chances are it won't even bother her that much if there is some (and I'm assuming the whole place won't be infected with the stuff or they wouldn't place student there ...) but it bothers ME!
I'm probably just focusing on it so that I don't worry about everything else but right now I can't seem to help it.
Will she change her bedding regularly? Will she live on noodles and toast? Who will plait her hair for her at night so it falls into lovely soft curls in the morning? Will people be MEAN to her??
I have never wrapped my children in cotton wool. I've let them climb trees, I've allowed them to jump in the deep end of the pool before they could swim confidently, I've let Miss Mac hop on a train and travel across the country (as long as she was met at the other end) from the age of 13 and plenty of that has scared me a little but I've dealt with it and it's been fine.
This isn't the same - it's not the same at all ...
I want her to go because she is bright and clever and SO full of possibilities and I know that I will get over these feelings in time and be happy for her but right now, if I'm honest, I'm just going to miss her SO damned much!!
We have SUCH a good relationship. She makes me laugh every day. We talk about almost everything (I'm not so naive that I think she tells me everything). We fall out so rarely and when we do it's about silly stuff and it doesn't last long. I've been so fortunate that we have never had big problems to face. She hasn't behaved badly. We haven't gone through those horrible times that I've seen some of her friends go through with their parents.
I know so many people bang on about not being their children's friends because they are their parents but honestly? Miss Mac and I seem to have been able to be both. We don't enjoy all the same things but we do enjoy spending time together.
There is going to be a lot of adjusting to do on both our parts. I'm sure she will miss me too but I'm hoping that all the new experiences will mean that it will just be a back ground feeling and that mostly she will be happy and excited. I'm sure that will be the case. I think I'll struggle a little more being here with her empty bedroom, without an overflowing laundry basket, without the little pads of cotton wool left on the sink when she takes her makeup off (even though there is a bin right under the sink!), without the box of Coco Pops on top of the microwave ...
I've got a year or so to get my shit together, to stop feeling sorry for myself, to fully buy in to SD's vision of the future, to believe in it and to know that it's going to be great (because it IS!).
But today (and maybe tomorrow) I just want to wrap my arms around my baby and hold her close.