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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Hey! Who cut the apron strings?

This past week has been a week of empty nesting for every mom I'm close to. Including me.

Rob's mom just sent her oldest daughter, Ginny, off to college three states away. Mary loaded her up with stuff, and packed her in the car with Bob (my father-in-law) and off they went, leaving 5 hours later than they said they would. They probably got to their hotel around 4 am.

Even though Rob's brothers played the Hallelujiah Chorus and ran around the yard wielding signs that said, "We're free!" it was sad in spite of the ridiculousness of it all. Rob never really left his home, even though he moved out. We're only 20 minutes away and we go to the same church. We see his family at least once a week, and Olivia plays with Rob's siblings like they are her own. This is the first time any of Mary's kids really left home, and even though Ginny'll be back in two weeks to visit, for right now she's gone.

My mom's youngest, my brother Kyle, just went on his first date. No more little boy for my mom, he's a highschool sophomore and he's a babe magnet. Well, he's a marching band-babe magnet. But hey, I was in the band myself and there's no shame in that.

Apparently Kyle's little girlfriend is really beautiful, too (Go Kyle!). But my mom is still sad that there's no way Kyle's ever going to ask her if he can marry his mommy ever again. And in a month he'll be 16 and getting his license. After that it's all done. There is only a little adult in kid skin left. The metamorphosis has begun.

Then there's me. This is the moment I've been waiting for. I moved Olivia's crib out of our bedroom. My advice to all engaged couples, don't rent a one bedroom apartment, you might just have a baby.

That's what happened to us, and we've been struggling to make it work for 10 months now. But last night was the last straw. Olivia threw a temper tantrum (the first ever) at 1 am because I wouldn't nurse her. I had just fed her at 9 and at 12. That's closer together than she eats during the day. Then, when Rob tried to calm her down she did the scary possessed back arching thing and screamed. It was amazing. I'd never seen her like that before. It was like a little teenager had moved into Olivia's infant body. The scariest thing of it all was she tantrums with the exact same cry that I did when I was younger. I cried like that all the way up until highschool.

Thanks Mom for wishing that I'd have one just like me. Forget about me taking care of you in your old age.

So last night in the middle of Olivia's fit we open up the portable crib and put her in the dining room. Then we waited. It broke my heart, but she wouldn't calm down no matter what we did. And trust me we tried everything.

Rob and I discussed that we think that she's just too old to be in our room anymore. We wake her up when we come to bed and she just wants to nurse or play. It's getting exponentially worse every night. So this morning I woke up and during Olivia's morning nap I rearranged the kitchen and put our table in there. Then when Olivia woke up I moved all of her things into the dining room. It's finished. She has her own room.

The funny thing is that I'm kind of sad about it. I'd have my feelings hurt if I was kicked out of Rob's room. But I belong there, Olivia is supposed to be growing up. Not staying the same.

It's the end of an era for us moms. And I'm learning that to be a good mom you have to be ready to get your heart broken, because that's what they do to you from the minute they leave your stomach. From that day on they are just getting farther and farther away from you, and you're supposed to let it happen. You're even supposed to show them how to do it. And then one day they leave for college or get married, and they don't belong to you any more.

It makes me want to have another so that I can have a little baby again. That's how God keeps up going through labor. We keep hoping the next one will stay little forever.