Don't open the box....
Okay, okay she was excited to be in a new place and distracted. So I called back an hour later. She couldn't come to the phone because Grandpa has Tivo and she was busy stopping and rewinding The Fairly Oddparents. Well, fair enough. I'd have taken a message too. Finally, I managed to speak to her at length. But only because she wanted a puppy. "Grandma and Grandpa are getting a puppy! Why can't I have one, too?" " I hate that we live in an apartment! Grandma says we should all move out here and you could afford a big house and then maybe somebody will buy me a dog!" My mother, ladies and gentleman...
So that wasn't a great conversation either. The next day she phoned me several times ...but only to ask how to start her own blog. I had to talk her through it over the phone and she is just like me - a miserable student. She broke into tears at one point because she couldn't log in. Turns out she was making up different passwords willy-nilly. I cannot tell you how complicated it is to explain online security to an eight-year-old, nevermind trying to console her over the fact that someone's already claimed the blog name "Blue Goth". Finally, we made it through it. I present to you Finn's blog, Poppyrock - created with zero physical adult assistance.
Now, where was I going with this. Right. Finn hasn't really missed me and although it stings a bit a friend of mine said something to reassure me. She reassured me that Finn must feel awfully loved and secure to be so comfortable out on her own. Now, that's a concept I can get behind.
I've been very busy since she's been gone and I won't tell you I haven't enjoyed my freedom. In fact, not a couple of hours ago I was marveling at how well I was handling the separation. And then I opened a box...
A friend of mine is pregnant andI offered to lend her some of Finn's baby clothes. (Yes, LEND. I am still holding onto the dream that I may procreate again some day.) So, I went into Finn's room and dug through her closet and pulled out a big box marked "Finn's Outgrowns". I wrote it before I went back to school - don't judge me!
Annnyway, the moment I opened the box the room filled with the smell of baby. And not just any baby - my baby. I pulled out the cherry print sundress she wore the first day we took her to the beach and sniffed it like a panty raider. Next came the batik dress her dad made for her in his first year of art college. And, God help me, I found the fluffy white snowsuit she used to wear that made her look like a star-shaped baby seal.
It was this snowsuit that did me in. I lost it. I wept and carried on uncontrollably until I started to worry a bit for my sanity. But just seeing that smallish clothing packed away in a box was unbearably hurtful. I wanted very badly to take all the sweet little things out, fold them neatly and put them away in her drawers. But, in some circles that is considered a "break with reality" and so I wiped at my snot and tears so as not to soil anything, resealed the box and shoved it back into the closet like a scary Ouija board.
The chubby little baby who used tear at her dresses and spit up on anything white is now a bazillion miles away writing blogs and macking out on TiVo. How in the hell did that happen? I realized I'd been kidding myself. I miss her terribly.
I don't want her to be a brave and self-sufficient little person. I want her to be terrified to leave her mother's side! Well, not forever... I'm not a lunatic. But, I want her home. I want to hear her complaining about how unfair it is that I won't buy her a Temper-pedic bed and I want to eavesdrop in on the very insane Barbies-and-creepy-bugs-from-the-garden tea parties she holds in her room. I want to let her sneak into my bed tonight and not even attempt to detangle myself from her hot-as-a-baked-potato limbs.
11 more days and a flight home to go and I'm a wreck. And, man is this a long post... I can't even bear to edit it let alone re-read it.