Story by Esther Goetz
When your big kid texts, “Can I come home for the weekend?” you jump at the chance and say a resounding “Y-E-S.”
When your big kid pulls in the driveway, you run outside, wave frantically and give her a hug like you haven’t seen her in five years (even though it’s only been five weeks).
When your big kid dumps her stuff all over your kitchen counter, you hold your tongue and remember that it’s only for a couple of days, knowing secretly you miss the “mess.”
When your big kid asks, “Mom, do you have ___________,” you search your house until ___________ is found underneath the sink in the back corner.
When your big kid wants to take an online who-you-should-vote-for test, you spend five hours talking through all the issues, learning and listening to her perspective while speaking your own truth, both feeling more connected afterwards.
When your big kid rakes the leaves into a pile on your driveway, plops herself right in the middle, throwing them into the air because fall is her favorite season ever, you take a video and post it everywhere.
When your big kid holds her dad’s hand during your lazy, long leaf-peeping walk, you watch from behind and your heart almost bursts because you love her more today than you ever have.
When your big kid snuggles with you on the couch, watching football and eating popcorn, the official family snack, memories flood your mind of a little girl spinning in a circle humming while she eats the fluffy white goodness. A lump forms in your throat.
When your big kid gets ready to leave, you help pack her car, make sure she has air in that tire with the flashing light on, make a bag of goodies for her two-hour ride, and give her another hug like you won’t see her again for another five years (even though it will only be five weeks).
When your big kid pulls out of your driveway, you shout “I love you,” hands flailing in the air, as tears well in your eyes and you allow them to flow. Your heart is sad and thankful all at the same time.
When your big kid texts you, “Here,” you breathe a long, mom sigh of relief, anticipating the next time you will be given another chance to jump and say a resounding “Y-E-S!”