One week and counting

Right around this time next weekend, the clean-up and clean-out begins, packing commences and Alison moves out and on to bigger and better things. She will officially be moving into her “residence” for the completion of her first college degree–actually I guess for her second college degree as she already has an AA.

So now all of the “mom” reflections must begin.

“It was only yesterday that she…”

“The last one to leave the nest…”

“Her opportunity to explore the world… and life…”

To many cliché’s and she is not a cliché’ person so enough of that. We are all pretty sure of what the future holds for her, especially after getting a taste of her future lifestyle just a few weeks ago in Montana. I know she is sure of what her future holds…although I do try to remind her and nudge her into embracing how varied the possibilities are while among her college peers but she isn’t buying my ideas and being Alison, I wouldn’t expect her to.

If she does discover new and profound aspects of life that differ from her world view, good for her and I will try not to say, “I told you so”, although no promises Al!

She is ready, more than ready to take on life.

I however am feeling those “this is my last kid at home and now what do I do” issues. I will have an entire upstairs open, rooms not lived in, still collecting dust balls but un-disturbed by the footfalls of my youngest child. Who will I call up those stairs to each evening when dinner is ready? Who will I shake my head at over the living conditions not meeting my standards for cleanliness? Even more important: where will the cat escape to for loving attention when I am too busy at my studies? I fear many long mournful days and nights of lonely meowing outside an empty bedroom, trying in vain to seek out a favored companion.

For that matter, who will I have to share intellectual (?) discussions with over world issues–ok, that might be an exaggeration, but we do occasionally have some interesting conversations and I will miss those. Who will ride along with me as I purchase groceries and toss an occasional extra item or two in the cart? Who will get frustrated but go along with me, resigned to the occasional “lets toss out old clothes” projects?

Who will say, “I don’t care, I don’t know, it doesn’t matter, and quite”? Who will frustrate me with indecisiveness? Who will go into nature with me and put up with my issues of bridges, cliffs, steep drop-offs, and general high places? Who will laugh at me when I refuse those places yet accept that this is her mom?

Who will radiate modest levels of excitement when arriving home with a new stack of vinyl while methodically peeling off the ever offensive labels and stickers that mar the pristine quality of an extraordinary used record find?  

How will it be each morning when I pull out of my garage for work and I can take up the entire driveway, not having to navigate around the white Jeep, Paul and John quizzically watching me drive away? More importantly, how will it be each evening driving back in, knowing that the white Jeep with those Beatles stickers is now housed somewhere else?

How will it be in just 1 week when the person who entered this home still within me, still unborn, 18 and 1/2 years ago leaves to begin her adult life?

For Alison it will be fantastic, an adventure of epic proportions–ok, again maybe an exaggeration, but non-the-less an adventure into adulthood.

For me, I’ll let you know when I can get past the lump in my throat and the wetness leaking from my eyes.

There was never a doubt


She did it…officially received the word that she is a fully licensed Registered Nurse. Her long, long journey has come to an end.

The starts and stops of college, the return home amid pre-requisites, the acceptance at an out-of-state nursing program, the newfound love of her life, the 2 years of commutes to save her sanity, clinicals, preceptors, study, study, marriage and more study, exams, graduation, BSN, NCLEX,  and finally today the much awaited one and only unique-to-Cara assignment of a license number defining her as a full fledged RN-capable of undertaking, managing and providing healthcare for her clients in the best possible way with the highest skills of her profession

To my daughter, who has fulfilled her goal and dream and can now go out into the world and her career of service to others-Congratulations, I love you.


A day to celebrate

Today is a day once more to reflect back on another adult child, graduating and moving on to begin her future. Then tomorrow we board a plane and head to San Francisco, finally!

Alison is not one to be filled with sentimentality. She doesn’t put a lot of  emphasis on special days. She is analytical, practical and rarely emotional, although underneath she feels passionately about many things. Choosing to pursue a career in the social sciences seems to be a misnomer at face value: social science! Alison’s best moments come in solitude. She is not an extrovert, not a social animal who seeks out others or even needs interaction. But social science is where anthropology falls and where her desire to explore the ancient will be.

Appropriately, with her future planned and with this being graduation day, a famous book makes me think of Alison. I know this is cliché’, this book is probably one of the most quoted in graduation speeches but ironically it could have truly been written for Alison.

 So I give you in this post a link to Oh, The Places You’ll Go, by Dr. Seuss as read by John Lithgow. And I say Happy Graduation Al! I love you and can’t wait to see and hear all about the places you will go.