This may sound odd, but it is very hard for me not having Dimples in my day-to-day care. Given how difficult life was, this doesn’t really make sense. I’ve come up with all kinds of theories about why this is so hard – none of them have made me feel any better. Then I realized this truth.
As our children grow, we slowly loosen our hold on them. First they are in our arms, then they begin to toddle, and before we know it they are exploring the back yard. They play at a friend’s house, they go to school (or a homeschool class), and somebody else watches over them for a time. They go to their first sleepover and we wonder if they might call to come home at 10:00 pm – or 2:00 am. Slowly they become more independent and we adjust in small increments.
They become teens and begin making more of their own decisions (with the resulting consequences), they learn to drive, and do things that are dangerous which we only hear about months (or years) later. They graduate from high school and leave for college, or move away from home, and even with all of those tiny steps toward independence made over many years, it’s hard. When Hannah moved away for the first time, I was sad and it took time for me to adjust. When Mimi got married, it was a serious kind of letting go. I won’t even talk about Isaiah being in Seattle because I still miss him a lot and haven’t quite gotten used to it.
This experience of having Dimples away is not natural or developmentally appropriate. Sending our 11 year-old child to another state, where she is being cared for 100% of the time by others, is not the way it should be. I feel uneasy, uncomfortable, and sometimes really crummy – and those feelings are actually okay.
It is the strangest thing to have something feel so unnatural and wrong, and yet to also be at peace. We know that Dimples is exactly where she needs to be and that this is the best way we can love her right now.
So today, my stomach is in a bit of a knot, my head hurts, I didn’t sleep last night, and I’m close to tears. And I’m just fine with that – I’m pretty certain that it will get better with time.