April 29, 2010

  • “But, You’re Very Going to Miss Me!”


    These were the words of my two year old daughter.

    It all began a week before, when Zoe, age two, and her Papa (my dad) were talking on the phone. My phone presently only works on speakerphone mode, so I could hear their entire conversation.

    I could scarcely believe my ears though, when I heard my dad say to her, “…And ask Mommy if you could come up to Papa’s house for a week…”

    In my head all I saw was this: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    A week! WHAT?!

    She’s only TWO. She’s still my baby. I’ve never been away from her for a week.

    The situation was this: my mom, sister, and brother were coming to help us paint our little cottage in a couple of days. After they returned home, it would be a week exactly until we saw the rest of my sisters at a wedding out of state. So transportation for Zoe to visit my old home would be perfect, albeit there would be 18 hours of driving for her until we’d see her again.

    I mentioned the idea to Ben. Surely he wouldn’t agree to something so outrageous.

    We talked about it. Actually, it became a possibility.

    Zoe tends to be very cautious. Even as a baby, she would hardly ever have bumps or bruises on her body from falling. She was just that careful. She didn’t walk until 14 months because she wanted to be absolutely sure she could do it perfectly. Her little sister is the opposite – she’s had black and blue marks all over her almost from the start, and she keeps right on tumbling!

    March-April, 2010 044

    So we’ve talked about it before that we need to watch for opportunities to push Zoe a bit. Present her with ways to develop confidence and courage.

    But when it came down to a perfect opportunity like this, I felt like I, the mother, was being pushed far more than my child! Could I really let her go that far away, for so long?

    So my mother, sister, and brother came. And I didn’t talk much about her going back with them. Rather hoping the idea would go away.

    It didn’t.

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    The night before they left to return home, I mentioned the idea to Zoe. She was excited about it, but I told her that Daddy and I still need to talk about it. We’re still not sure what’s going to happen.

    Meanwhile, we talked. Yes, she can go, we decided. This is a great opportunity for her to spend time with my family whom she rarely sees, we said. And this will push her out of her comfort zone a bit, we kept saying, trying to convince ourselves that we could do this!

    So the next morning I called her into her bedroom, where I was gathering some pieces of clothing together.

    “Sweetie, do you still want to go to Pennsylvania with Nana?” I asked.

    “But, you’re very going to miss me!

    You’re very going to cry!”

    Zoe said to me, with a greatly concerned look on her face.

    ‘Very’ is her favorite word these days.

    And she wrapped her soft little arms around my neck and hugged me tight. I choked back the lump in my throat. She’s concerned about me?? More worried about me than about being gone that long??

    Then she suddenly released her tight hold and leaned back to look me in the eye.

    “I want to go!” she said, nodding her curly head.

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    Then I explained to her how she would be gone for seven days – 7 naps and 7 nights, and how she would see all the aunties and uncles and Papa and Nana, and have a lot of fun, and how she needs to tell them when she needs to go potty  [and other motherly instructions], and then after that we would see her!

    She understood, and was very aware of all that was happening.

    And I strapped her in the carseat in the back of Nana’s car, kissed her lots of times, told her “I love you! I’m going to miss you!” a hundred times.

    I tried hard to be brave, but I couldn’t help the couple of tears that squeezed out of my eyes. My little girl is growing up too fast!

    And I waved goodbye until I couldn’t see the car anymore…

    I called Ben and cried some more.

    Then I sat down in a little quiet house, with the remaining baby sleeping, and really cried.

    You’d think it’s the two year old that is crying as she says goodbye.
    But oh no, it’s her mother that’s a weeping, teary mess!

    Letting go.

    Already. I thought that would be when she’s eighteen or something. Not two. Gracious, not two.

    How my heart struggles against that. I want her to stay close to Ben and me so we can always know where she is, and so we can protect her, and keep her safe.

    I KNEW my family would do their best to take care of her. And that she would have a wonderful time there. It’s just that I can’t be right there with her too.

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    Husband and I were talking later… How we feel like we can care for her when we’re right there. And when we’re not right there, I can get so freaked out…

    The road.

    The pond.

    The many cars.

    So many potential dangers for a curious two year old!

    Learning to trust God in a brand new way as I said goodbye to my daughter.
    Asking God to watch and keep her with the many hours on the road.
    Asking Him to protect her precious, beautiful life.
    Realizing He is a far better Guardian and Protector than Ben or I could ever be.

    It’s been a long week without my little Zoe-girl.

    I miss our little naptime cuddles and sweet-talks.
    I miss her chatter and funny sayings that keep me laughing all throughout the day.
    So many little things that only she can bring to our lives.

    It’s made me realize, BIG-TIME realize, how much I LOVE being a mother.

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    Sometimes, in the everyday-ness of life, things seem rather mundane, uneventful, unexciting.

    I remember my adventurous days of singleness, and while I’ve never regretted for one moment the decision to have children, I loved my life back then. Life now can sometimes seem far less than glamorous.

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    I feel like I get lost sometimes inbetween dirty diapers, taking a two-year old potty, and dirty laundry.

    But in a week like this, I’m reminded of this:


    No, life may not be that “glamorous” and “exciting” and “adventurous” as it once was, but it is BEAUTIFUL.

    These days of dirty diapers and dirty laundry are also days of

                         baby kisses,
                               purity and innocence,
                                    enjoying little gifts and simple pleasures,
                                          teaching precious children about Jesus,
                                               swing rides,
                                                     visits to the park,
                                                           cuddling sleepy babies,
                                                                  fulfilling a dream.

    Really, what’s not to love?



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    Thank you, Jesus, for my beautiful life


    And, I am ever so excited.
    Because, tomorrow, I get to have Zoe back again!

    Cheers to a happy weekend!











Comments (25)

  • Ahh – this takes me back to when Portia was 18months old and she stayed in Ohio for 10 days and never asked for me until the very last day! You wrote so well! The feelings and emtions are so very real!
    Now she’s almost 8 – seriously – where is time going??
    You really do have a beautiful life – and I love the way you celebrate is so unashamedly!
    Happy reunion with your first born!!

  • You bout have me weeping!!! I SO needed this!! I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed, like no I would’nt trade my babies for ANYHTHING in the world but like you said it can feel mundane sometimes…anyway, so glad you get to see your munchkin tommorow!!

  • I love this SO MUCH.

  • Your little Zoe reminds me of our Brooklen, who is now 9.  She too was so timid and shy…didn’t walk till she was 18 months old…sweet as could be. 

    She went to school and everything changed!  {well, not everything} We now joke that she’s like a loose cannon!  …And she really is!  A weekend hardly ever passes without an invitation to someone else’s house, she has a seemingly untamable temper, and she can be CrAzY fun!!

    But, every now and then, she’ll say to me, “Mom, I still have a tender heart”…and you know what?…she’s right. she does. 

    Your post is a beautiful example of all the feelings that go into this thing called ~ ”motherhood”! 

  • awww…this is just so precious! makes me cry!

    I saw your little lady in church on Sunday, and wondered how on earth you were going to fare this week! I thought of you many, many times! It was sort of funny too Sunday…we walked in and sat in front of your family and when Ava turned around and saw Zoe, she whipped her head around to me and with wide eyes said ‘mom, ‘Marfa’ just now had a baby!’ I could hardly hold my laughter!

    I applaud you for letting her go….your words of wanting to protect her from all things while she’s with you resonated with me…sometimes when I think about all the things that could happen to my children, I about go crazy in my mind…but like you said, the Lord is a much more capable Protector than I ever could be; learning to trust my children to His care is a constant lesson I must learn.

    But what an opportunity for both Zoe and your family! I’m sure this will be a tradition that she and they will all look forward to as she grows up….you’re blessed with an opportunity that is such a GIFT!!

    hope your reunion with your princess is beautiful!

    love ya~

  • wow! this is beautiful. i can’t imagine letting any of my kids leave for a week. that would be HARD!!!! i can totally relate to everything you said… as hard as it is to be a mommy in all of the mundane… it’s MUCH harder to let them go!!!!!!!

  • Wow Clarita I wanted to cry for you as I try to imagine  if it was my own little  2yr. old leaving for a week…sniff*. Love the way you are celebrating your life as a mother. Some days i feel like if i had a buisness card with my name on it it would simply read : I am a stay at home mom. Wiper of spit and poop. Cleaner off messes.   Still, I wouldnt trade these days with my little one for anything!! I hope tommorrow comes soon for you. ~Glo

  • My boys are 5 and 7 and I am having trouble with the idea of them spending a week in Ohio with my in-laws.  I’ve never thought of myself as a clingy Mother and I’ve been gone from them before, but it was always ME going away, not them.  So, big props to you for letting her go.  I’m sure she had a great time! And it gave you some great perspective on your life too, right?

  • Oh, you are a brave, brave mommy! The first time I left Adam overnight he was seven weeks old and I thought I could not tear myself away. I know exactly what you mean about feeling as though you can care for them when they are in your presence. I say all those things about, “I want to teach my children to become independent,” but every once in a while I come face to face with how hard it actually is for me to let go. I think the longest I’ve ever left either of the boys is three days and that felt like a stretch! I bet this has been a l-o-n-g week!!!

    How is the house coming? What a great boost to have your family come help you paint!

    Oh, and I don’t think I ever told you this; but I *think* I saw one of your sisters at Jared and Carmen’s wedding. I kept thinking about introducing myself; but I was suddenly overcome with shyness. :)

  • I can only imagine what my heart would go through if Abigail went by herself to her “northern” grandparents!  Bless you for allowing Zoe to do this…I’m sure she’ll have lots of stories to tell you when you see her again.  Since the death of Brady, I’ve gone through times of not wanting Abigail to leave my sight, only to realize that something could happen to her even if I’m right there.  God can protect our children so much better than we can! 

  • My parents came and took my two oldest when Nadia was born and they loved it, but I did have to shed some tears when they left and I was sooo glad to see them when they came back. I also thought it funny that Zoe says very too – Nadia says she either very likes something or very doesn’t like it. It must be a 2 yr. old thing.

  • Aw, I know the feeling so well.  I long for a night, or week, away with my husband, but the thought of leaving the children….I hate the separation! But, that’s all part of being a mommy, preparing them for a big world.  And I wouldn’t want it any other way. I just want to keep them little as long as i can. :)

  • Aw, I have been there….you almost made me cry. I worry so much when my children are gone over night.  Glad you get to see her soon!

  • @maryjunemiller - 10 days? Wow. You are a brave mother. :) This is the second to last day, and Zoe is finally asking for me. Makes me melt. :)

    @foreveranoatneygirl - That is SO FUNNY what Ava said about my mom! I would have burst out laughing had I been there! As it was, I giggled everytime I thought about it today. :) It’s been a good week for all of us, but a long one, and we are SO READY to have her back. I told Ben it’s a good thing when you miss a two year old so terribly. :)

    @gloriaoverholt - Your business could say the same thing about me! :) But isn’t it a wonderful life anyway?!

    @smilesbymiles - It HAS been a long week. Now it’s right at the end and I get teary just thinking about reuniting with her. She’s not going away again for a LONG time. :) Know what you mean – *saying* we want our children to grow to be healthily independent is a completely different thing than actually letting it happen! House – big big boost. 75% painted now. Remaining % seems do-able to me.  And YES – my sister, Jana, was at that wedding! She would have loved to meet you! :)

    @RICHK1200 - CUTE about Nadia saying “very” as well. I think it’s the darlingest thing a two-year old can say. Sounds so dramatic all the time. :)

  • So inspiring! I think it is such a beautiful thing when someone is a mother and is LOVING that life. Especially since it takes such selflessness and patience! (From what people tell me, anyway.:)

    Lovely post!


  • What a beautiful post…It brought tears into my eyes!  After 12 delightful weeks with my tiny girl, I can only imagine how much bravery that would take.  And yet, I think you were very WISE to do that.  Thank you for sharing your experiences…I will remember it, and, when the time comes, find the STRENGTH, please God, to let go myself. 

  • You are making me cry again!!!!! I love the way you communicate with words and pictures! Obviously, you’ve touched alot of mother’s hearts!!!

  • This is a really sweet post. I haven’t sent off a child, but I could relate to your emotions so well. And I, too, feel so safe when they are in my care…yet the world seems so unsafe when they’re not with me. (I’m actually not much of a worrier most of the time, just have moments) And, yes, the times away help us forget the rough parts and remember the beauty that is our life. (And always makes me realize why middle-aged women are constantly saying things about enjoying because they grow up too soon. :) ) Thanks for reminding me.

  • It’s hard letting them leave.  Avery was 2 when he spent his first week w/o us in PA.  We recorded a little tape for him to listen to every night before bed and mom said he’d lay there and talk to us.  Tell us what songs to sing and what he wanted the story to be about. 

  • I loved your post Clarita as well as catching up a bit on your life w/ the previous posts. Its been a long time since I’ve been on xanga… i miss not connecting that way w/ the outside world.

    I understand your thoughts so well on letting go… we went through the whole act when Chayla was born and Candace had just been exposed to chicken pox and the dr. was telling us we couldn’t have the two together for 2wks. I would cry when we had to say goodbye to Candace after spending the evening together… but it can do a really beautiful thing to to our hearts and their hearts. You’ll treasure her more now than ever before, pry take a little more time in your day to kiss her, play w/ her and talk together!

    Thanks for sharing all your creativity here and refreshing my soul again! I love how you can express yourself in your writing, keep it up! Have a blessed day! -Cindy

  • Not sure why I’m always “late” to read your posts. Seem the subscriptions updater is slow when it comes to your site. Hmmm . . . . Anyway, I just loved seeing you and catching up a teeny-tiny bit on the weekend. Not *nearly* long enough. Let me know when your phone is in working order again. Enjoyed your post here and kinda made me laugh because I almost hyper-ventilated a while back when Phil told Dietrich that he can probably go visit Gramma and Grampa in Canada when he’s about 5 years old. I was thinking more along the lines of 10 years old. =) We shall see . . .

    Sorry about the cat-in-the-house problem. Hope all is well and SMELLS well again soon!!

  • wanted to reply to your comment, but wasn’t sure if I should leave it here or there. anyway. I am so happy we had a moment to meet at the wedding too, i feel like i know you since you are such a good friend of Bek and shelly’s We were missing our helper person at that wedding, so that made it a little more crazy for us.
    You mentioned the bloggy weekend–are you coming?!?! That would be so great! Was going to ask you at the wedding but slipped my mind. I am mostly freaked out that I said I would come, but also nervously excited to be able to meet so many fabulous women. haven’t at all figured out the whole getting from PA to Ohio thing. It’s not a big deal, but looks like a moutain to me. That and lining up a babysitter.

  • @fruitloops115 - I feel like I know you too because of our mutual acquaintances! Will be fun to get to know you for real though! :) I am planning to go the blogger weekend. Like you, I am pretty freaked out, but it will be really fun to be with those women for a weekend. I don’t know either how I’m getting there, or what’s going to happen with the girls… :(

  • I’m “very missing you” right now. Silent phone. Silent xanga. Silent from that corner of GA. Must be busy and stuff! Can’t wait to hear from you again!

  • I “stumbled” across your site, and hope you don’t mind me sub. What a sweet little family you have!!

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